Joy to the World – part 2

Posted on December 23, 2011 · Posted in Apologetics, Worldview

The Savior Reigns

The second verse of “Joy to the World” builds on the theme of the first verse, where Isaac Watts anticipates the coming king. Now he exults in the current reign of Christ. This also allows us to add the next foundation stone in constructing a biblical worldview based on this hymn. This truth is simple, yet profound – if Jesus is reigning, it is a good thing. Here is the second verse:

Joy to the World, the Savior reigns!

Let men their songs employ;

While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains

Repeat the sounding joy…

All that is good, noble, and excellent in life stems from the glory and goodness of God, not from any other source. If Jesus reigns, the only fitting response is one of joy. This flies in the face of conventional religion and wisdom, in which various circumstances determine our sense of well-being.  Psalm 98 again provides the basis for these thoughts.  You can see this in the first three verses:

1 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.

2 The LORD has made his salvation known

and revealed his righteousness to the nations.

3 He has remembered his love

and his faithfulness to the house of Israel;

all the ends of the earth have seen

the salvation of our God.

God has done marvelous things.  It is true that there is much darkness and sadness in our world, but because of the Lordship of Christ, we have hope.  Things are not as they appear to be. Regardless of what the circumstances appear to declare, this one fact remains – the Savior reigns! There is more to life than meets the eye. God is faithful to his covenant promises.

There are times when lengthy arguments can obscure the most precious realities. I am not against lengthy arguments. My friends will attest to this! Yes, it is good to be able to lay out solid, well-reasoned arguments about the truths taught in Scripture. However, It is equally good to rejoice in the concise exultations of joy that proclaim the wonder of God.

We can always sing with joy that our Savior reigns—this is an essential building block of living out a biblical worldview. These profound summaries of truth are blessings to give to your children.  When things are going well we can have joy. But more importantly, when things do not appear to be going well, it is a blessing to sing, even with tears, Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.