Joy to the world

Posted: December 3, 2014 in psalms, thought to ponder
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One of the challenges of Christmas is that it has been so commercialized that we have elements that isn’t supposed to be there. Santa Claus. The Reindeers. Frosty the Snowman. Elves. Mr. Scrooge. Ghosts. The Cricket. The Donkey. Little Jack Horner. The Grinch. And so many others. This series aims to look for songs that are:

a) familiar on Christmas season,
b) God-honoring, and
c) something that points back to God.

The first song I chose is something that is really familiar. Joy to the world was NOT originally written as a Christmas song. This song talks about the return of the King, that would judge the world, and when the composer, Isaac Watts wrote this, he had Psalm 98:4-9 in mind.

4 Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
5 make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
6 with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King.
7 Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
8 Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy;
9 let them sing before the Lord,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples with equity.

Here are some observations I have with this psalm…

#1 We can rejoice because the King is coming.
The king is coming soon. We know that for a fact. He promised to come back (Matthew 16:27). No one knows when this is going to happen (Matthew 24:37-39). He will judge the world (Luke 21:34-36). Indeed, He will judge the world in righteousness (Psalm 98:9).

#2 We can rejoice by telling others about Him.
There is no way we can shout silently. Shouting is really telling the whole world about what is happening. Shouting can be done specially in the heat of a game (or battle if you may), and here’s the principle we can draw from this psalm. We are to tell others about Him. Christmas is the perfect season to tell others. Shout for joy (Psalm 98:4). Tell others about Him. It’s a time of “Joy to the world”.

#3 We can rejoice by singing.
We are called to sing (Psalm 98:4) jubilantly. With music of different instruments. Christmas season is a time when a lot of songs are out in the open. In fact, we can choose the songs we sing. Make the songs relevant by singing about the Savior, not about mommy kissing Santa Claus.
#4 We can rejoice by writing our thoughts about Him.
The psalmist wrote down his feelings and that’s why we have Psalm 98. Isaac Watts was challenged to write down his version of Psalm 98 and that’s why we have “Joy to the World”. Indeed, Christmas season can be filled with depressive thoughts, or it could be something that we can be thankful for. So write down your thoughts. Try to come up with God’s attributes daily from the beginning of the month, until the end.

Indeed, we can sing “Joy to the World” because He came down to earth, and He will return…soon!

For more information on Isaac Watts and the song, Joy to the world, click here.


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