Thursday, December 2, 2021

Daily Devotion: Joy To The World

Bible Reading:  Psalm 98

Key Verse: Verse 4– “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.”

Key Words: Make a joyful noise

Isaac Watts, who wrote over 750 hymns, was known as the “Father of Hymns.”  He wrote “Joy to the World” in 1719.  The hymn is based on Psalm 98:4a, “Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth.”

If you notice the lyrics of the song, “Joy to the World,” you will see nothing about shepherds, a manger, wise men, angels, or any other character or element that we normally associate with the Christmas story.  The reason being that Isaac Watts did not write “Joy to the World” to be a Christmas song.  The original theme of this song was the second coming of the Lord.  Christmas won’t always be a joyful time, but when Jesus comes back, even the rocks will sing!

Over 100 years later, in 1839, Lowell Mason adapted and arranged this song into a melody many believe to have been written by Handel. In my research, however, I have not been able to establish when or why this hymn became associated with Christmas. Certainly we can look at the message in the song and see that it can be applied to Christ’s appearance as a babe in Bethlehem. We must prepare room for Him in our hearts and lives. This is a joyous occasion!

As you hear and sing this beloved carol this season, think about the words.  Yes, they apply to the Christmas story in that the Lord is come!  We should rejoice!  But, let the lyrics all point you to the reason Jesus came: to save the world.  Be ready because He is coming again!  What a glorious day THAT will be when the whole earth celebrates His appearing!

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! The Lord is come;
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

What to do:
✞ Be joyful; for He did come and He is coming again!

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