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  • Josh Hill

December - Joy to the World

Joy to the World! It’s the Christmas season again, and what better time could there be for living with full hearts of joy than now? I have selected a…ahem…joyous song for this month: Joy to the World. I love the awesome imagery and tone of these words. There is so much that could be said about the text and its accompanying music (besides the fact that the original composer of the music is one of my favorites: George Frideric Handel), but I will highlight just a small jewel found therein. Below are the lyrics:

 

1. Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King;

let ev’ry heart prepare him room

and heav’n and nature sing,

and heav’n and nature sing,

and heav’n, and heav’n and nature sing.


2. Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ,

while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat the sounding joy,

repeat, repeat the sounding joy.


3. No more let sins and sorrows grow

nor thorns infest the ground;

he comes to make his blessings known

far as the curse is found,

far as the curse is found,

far as, far as the curse is found.


4. He rules the world with truth and grace

and makes the nations prove

the glories of his righteousness

and wonders of his love,

and wonders of his love,

and wonders, wonders of his love.

 

About the Author

Isaac Watts was born on July 17, 1674, in Southampton. Early on, he began rhyming and writing; and at the age of sixteen, he was sent to London to study for the ministry. Isaac did not conform to the hierarchy of the time- Anglicanism. Instead, as a non-conformist (no pun intended- that's actually what they were called), he studied at an academy for independent "dissenters" like himself. In 1702, he became a pastor there in London, where he served for the rest of his life. As well as pastoring, he wrote many, many hymns and educational works on various subjects including philosophy, astronomy, and geography. Isaac Watts served God faithfully until his death in 1748. Even a firmly Anglican man said of him, "happy will be that reader whose mind is disposed, by his verse or prose, to imitate him, in all but his Nonconformity; to copy his benevolence to man and his reverence to God." Praise God for nonconformity like that!


Citations

https://hymnary.org/text/joy_to_the_world_the_lord_is_come

https://hymnary.org/person/Watts_Isaac

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Watts

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Isaac-Watts

https://www.biblicalcyclopedia.com/W/watts-isaac-dd.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Johnson

 

A Few Thoughts...

This glorious hymn stands as an emblem of the Christmas season we love, but if you look carefully over its text, you will realize that it refers to the Second Coming of Christ. On the day He returns, the world that rejected Him will bow before His power: Earth shall receive her King! Heaven and nature shall sing, because the tormenting curse will be lifted, and we will rejoice as the One in whom we have believed, the One we have received, and the One we have served comes to make His bountiful blessings known. As far as the curse can be found, His truth and grace shall prevail.

Don’t forget that the Prince of Peace who came to be our Savior will return as King- the King of glory!

 

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