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When Issac Watts wrote and published “Joy to the World” in 1719 he did not intend for it to be a Christmas Carol. In fact, he did not intend for it to be a song. It was published in a collection of poems.

And yet it is one of my favorites. He based the lyrics off of Psalm 98 that reads:

“Oh sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Make a joyful noise to the Lord , all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord ! Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together before the Lord , for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity,” (Psalm 98: 1-9, ESV).

Watts adapted Psalm 98 to celebrate Jesus Christ as King. When you read the lyrics of “Joy to the World” you can see that Watts also had Christ’s second coming in mind.

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.

Joy to the world! the Saviour 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.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

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.

Jesus has come, but He is coming again! He first came in humility in the form of a baby, but will come again as reigning King. His blessings will flow. Sin and sorrows will no more grow, and we will forever worship Him joyfully because of His righteousness and wonder at His limitless love.

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