Singing Joy To The World :: by Britt Gillette

It’s that time of the year when many people are singing Joy To The World and other Christmas songs.

Most Christmas songs (at least those that still focus on Christ) celebrate the birth of the Messiah.

But did you know that Joy To The World is NOT one of them?

That’s right. Contrary to popular belief, Joy To The World is not about the birth of Lord.

It’s about bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled.

Joy To The World is about the Glorious Appearing of Jesus Christ.

Joy To The World Origins

English hymn writer Isaac Watts first published Joy To The World in 1719.

According to Wikipedia, “Watts wrote the words of Joy to the World as a hymn glorifying Christ’s triumphant return at the end of the age, rather than a Christmas song celebrating his first coming as a babe born in a stable.”

Let’s look at the lyrics and how they apply to unfulfilled bible prophecy:

Joy To The World Lyrics

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 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.

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.

Psalm 98

Watts used Psalm 98 as the inspiration for his lyrics:

“Sing a new song to the Lord, for he has done wonderful deeds. His right hand has won a mighty victory; his holy arm has shown his saving power! The Lord has announced his victory and has revealed his righteousness to every nation! He has remembered his promise to love and be faithful to Israel. The ends of the earth have seen the victory of our God. Shout to the Lord, all the earth; break out in praise and sing for joy! Sing your praise to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and melodious song, with trumpets and the sound of the ram’s horn. Make a joyful symphony before the Lord, the King!

Let the sea and everything in it shout his praise! Let the earth and all living things join in. Let the rivers clap their hands in glee! Let the hills sing out their songs of joy before the Lord. For the Lord is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness.” Psalm 98:1-9 (NLT)

But Joy To The World speaks of a glorious event referenced throughout the bible, not just Psalm 98.

Let’s examine a few of those verses:

The Lord Is Come

From Joy To The World:

“Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,”

Christ is coming soon. In the meantime, He’s preparing a place for us.

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3 (NLT)

When Christ comes, He will reign on earth as King.

The Savior Reigns

From Joy To The World:

“Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!”

The Savior will reign over the world:

“But when the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne.” Matthew 25:31 (NLT)

“Look, a righteous king is coming! And honest princes will rule under him.” Isaiah 32:1(NLT)

Fields, Floods, Rocks, Hills, and Plains

From Joy To The World:

“While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.”

The earth will be so enthusiastic about Christ’s return, the joyous sounds will come forth from the fields, streams, rivers, rocks, hills, mountains, and plains.

“Then the Lord will bless you with rain at planting time. There will be wonderful harvests and plenty of pastureland for your livestock. The oxen and donkeys that till the ground will eat good grain, its chaff blown away by the wind. In that day, when your enemies are slaughtered and the towers fall, there will be streams of water flowing down every mountain and hill.” Isaiah 30:23-25 (NLT)

“Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy!” Isaiah 35:1-2 (NLT)

“Springs will gush forth in the wilderness, and streams will water the wasteland. The parched ground will become a pool, and springs of water will satisfy the thirsty land. Marsh grass and reeds and rushes will flourish where desert jackals once lived.” Isaiah 35:6-7 (NLT)

The earth will bloom in this new era as God rules over the earth.

No More Let Sins and Sorrows Grow

From Joy To The World:

“No more let sins and sorrows grow,”

When Christ returns, sin and sorrow will become things of the past:

“I will rejoice over Jerusalem and delight in my people. And the sound of weeping and crying will be heard in it no more.” Isaiah 65:19 (NLT)

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Revelation 21:4 (NLT)

Nor Thorns Infest the Ground

From Joy To The World:

“Nor thorns infest the ground;”

Harvesting the earth will no longer be a burden on mankind, as the earth will produce a plentiful harvest:

“The time will come, says the Lord, when the grain and grapes will grow faster than they can be harvested. Then the terraced vineyards on the hills of Israel will drip with sweet wine!” Amos 9:13 (NLT)

“The threshing floors will again be piled high with grain, and the presses will overflow with new wine and olive oil.” Joel 2:24 (NLT)

The Curse

From Joy To The World:

“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.”

What is the “curse” referenced in these verses?

It’s God’s curse from the Garden of Eden:

“And to the man he said, ‘Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.'” Genesis 3:17-19 (NLT)

When Christ comes, the curse from Genesis 3 will be lifted:

“Look! I am creating new heavens and a new earth, and no one will even think about the old ones anymore.” Isaiah 65:17 (NLT)

“No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.” Revelation 22:3 (NLT)

The Earth Restored

As a result of the curse being lifted, the earth will be restored to the original state that God intended.

Right now, all of creation is subject to God’s curse, eargerly looking forward to Christ’s Glorious Appearing and liberation from death and decay:

“Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children, including the new bodies he has promised us.” Romans 8:18-23 (NLT)

This is why “heaven and nature” will sing at the triumphant return of our Lord.

The prophet Isaiah paints a vivid picture of the world under Christ’s reign:

“In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all. The cow will graze near the bear. The cub and the calf will lie down together. The lion will eat hay like a cow. The baby will play safely near the hole of a cobra. Yes, a little child will put its hand in a nest of deadly snakes without harm. Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the Lord.” Isaiah 11:6-9 (NLT)

He Rules the World With Truth and Grace

From Joy To The World:

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.

When Christ returns at the end of this age, He will rule the world with truth and grace:

“They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”Revelation 20:4 (NLT)

“From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod.” Revelation 19:15 (NLT)

“Then the sovereignty, power, and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will last forever, and all rulers will serve and obey him.” Daniel 7:27 (NLT)


This year, while honoring the birth of our Lord and Savior, make sure to listen for the Christmas classic Joy To The World.

How wonderful for the world that the Messiah was born in Bethelem, but He will come again!

So make sure to tell your friends, especially those who don’t know Jesus, about the true meaning of Joy To The World.

For the confident expectation of our Lord’s return gives peace and strength to those who are weary:

“With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands, and encourage those who have weak knees. Say to those with fearful hearts, ‘Be strong, and do not fear, for your God is coming to destroy your enemies. He is coming to save you.'” Isaiah 35:3-4 (NLT))

And when He returns, we will all be singing “Joy To The World”!

“Those who have been ransomed by the Lord will return. They will enter Jerusalemsinging, crowned with everlasting joy. Sorrow and mourning will disappear, and they will be filled with joy and gladness.” Isaiah 35:10 (NLT)