Revelation

The LORD hath made known his salvation:

His righteousness hath he openly shewed in the sight of the heathen.

He that remembered his mercy and his truth toward the house of Israel:

All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Psalm 98:2-3 KJV

The Song

Joy to the Word was written by Issac Watts in 1719. The lyrics are based on Psalm 98. If you get a moment from your busy schedule, read it. It is a power-packed passage sure to invigorate and give you strength for your day! Now, let’s take a look at the song.

Joy to the world! The Lord is come: Let earth receive her King; let every heart prepare Him room, and heav’n and nature sing, and heav’n and nature sing, and heaven and heaven and nature sing.

But as many received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,

even to them that believe on his name: which were born, not of blood,

nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13 KJV

Joy to the earth! The Savior reigns: Let all their songs employ; while fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy, repeat the sounding joy, repeat, repeat the sounding joy.

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end,

upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment

and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD will perform this.

Isaiah 9:7 KJV

No more let sins and sorrow 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.

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,

Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 3:13 KJV)

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.

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory,

the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth

John 1:14 KJV

For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John 1:17 KJV

Joy to the World – Isaac Watts, 1719 Public Domain

Merry Christmas, sweet friends!

Expectation

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting (Micah 5:2 KJV).

Expecting a king to deliver them from Roman rule, many missed the significance of the star, stable, and the babe asleep in the manger.

The Song

O little town of Bethlehem,
how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
the silent stars go by;
yet in thy dark streets shineth
the everlasting light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
and, gathered all above
while mortals sleep, the angels keep
their watch of wond’ring love.
O morning stars, together
proclaim the holy birth,
and praises sing to God the King
and peace to all the earth.

How silently, how silently,
the wondrous gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
the blessings of his heav’n.
No ear may hear his coming,
but in this world of sin,
where meek souls will receive him, still
the dear Christ enters in.

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
descend to us, we pray,
cast out our sin and enter in,
be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels
the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
our Lord Immanuel!

Words by Phillip Brooks

Music by Lewis H. Redner

Public Domain

Prayer

May our eyes and hearts be open to the blessings before us!

The Video

Let the People Rejoice!

Psalm 147:1-20

Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely. 
The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.
He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.
Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.
The LORD lifteth up the meek: he casteth the wicked down to the ground.
Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:
Who covereth the heaven with clouds, who prepareth rain for the earth, who maketh grass to grow upon the mountains.
He giveth to the beast his food, and to the young ravens which cry.
He delighteth not in the strength of the horse: he taketh not pleasure in the legs of a man.
The LORD taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his mercy.
Praise the LORD, O Jerusalem; praise thy God, O Zion.
For he hath strengthened the bars of thy gates; he hath blessed thy children within thee.
He maketh peace in thy borders, and filleth thee with the finest of the wheat.
He sendeth forth his commandment upon earth: his word runneth very swiftly.
He giveth snow like wool: he scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes.
He casteth forth his ice like morsels: who can stand before his cold?
He sendeth out his word, and melteth them: he causeth his wind to blow, and the waters flow.
He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgments unto Israel.
He hath not dealt so with any nation: and as for his judgments, they have not known them. Praise ye the LORD.

Rejoicing and Reflection

According to The Pulpit Commentary and F. B. Myer’s Through the Bible Day by Day, this psalm was written in Nehemiah’s day for the dedication of the wall. When I read Psalm 147, I hear rejoicing and reflection as the writer remembers all that God has done and is doing, still.

Those acquainted with the story know the heartaches, delays, and challenges they faced while rebuilding the wall. At one point, they had to work with a sword in their hand!

Therefore set I in the lower places behind the wall, and on the higher places, I even set the people after their families with their swords, their spears, and their bows (Nehemiah 4:13).

BUT GOD…

So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days (Nehemiah 6:15).

Jacob’s children did not allow their circumstances to dictate their lives. They fought and worked until the job was finished. They gave thanks and rejoiced for the great things He had done. So should we!

Giving Thanks

I awoke with praise on my lips and the following chorus playing in my heart. I had to laugh because I’m not a fan of the music. Curiosity sent me to my hymn book for the verses. After reading the song, I searched for a video containing the words to share with you. I hope it puts joy in your heart too!

I love that Crosby took the focus off the singer and placed it on the One worthy of all praise and glory.

To God Be the Glory, Great Things He Hath Done

Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, 
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father thro' Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.
Words by Fannie J. Crosby. Music by William H. Doane