The hymn, “Joy to the World” has an interesting history. It was written by Isaac Watts and the music for the Carol was written by the famous composer George Frederick Handel who wrote “Handel’s Messiah”.
Isaac Watts, the author of Joy to the World was born in 1674. Since his late teens, Isaac Watts had complained about the Hymn singing in his Church and so his father who was tired of his complaints challenged Isaac to write something better. The following week after Isaac’s father had challenged him, Isaac composed his first hymn, “Behold the Glories of the Lamb” which received an enthusiastic response and so as an adolescent, his career as a well-known hymn writer had begun.
The Carol: “Joy to the World”, which Isaac Watts wrote, in 1719 mentions nothing about a Manger or Mary or Joseph or the Wiseman or the Shepherds that we associate with Christmas. It is believed that Watts based his carol on Psalm 98.
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. v5 Sing unto the Lord with the harp; with the harp, and the voice of a psalm. v8 Let the floods clap their hands: let the hills be joyful together. v9 Before the Lord; for he comes to judge the earth: with righteousness shall he judge the world, and the people with equity. (Psalm 98:4)
At the Start of the Carol Joy to the World Isaac Watts writes:
Joy to the World, The Lord is Come, Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare Him room…
At the beginning of this Carol Isaac Watts acknowledges the first Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to this Earth. He also says that the earth should receive Her King and that every heart should prepare Him room.
When Jesus came to this earth He was born as a King. You’ll remember that after the birth of Christ in Matthew 2 the Wise men came to Jerusalem looking for a King. Jesus Christ was actually the King of the Jews, but He was overlooked by many in the Jewish Nation. The Bible shows us in Luke 2.7 that Jesus was laid in a manger because there … “was no room for them in the Inn”.
There was no room in the Inn and for many in the Jewish Nation there was no room for Jesus either.
He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not. (John 1:10-11)
It’s sad today that there are many in our Nation that have no room for God’s King either.
When Jesus came to earth the first time He was the REJECTED KING, but when He returns the second time He will come as the REIGNING KING.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. (Revelation 22:12)