The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World

By Melissa McLaughlin

The Whole World Sings

How the sun sparkled! It was a sunny morning after a big winter storm. A nor’easter. A December storm that dumped snow, sleet and freezing rain on our community through the night. We awoke to a blanket of white as far as the eye could see. Still untouched, glowing bright, clean and pure.

With every sunrise, every sparkling snowflake, every puffy cloud-painted image…

Every towering pine in the woods, every joyous petal on the poinsettia plant, every silvery squirrel skittering through the bushes…

All of creation testifies,

All of creation sings,

All of creations shouts…

Beautiful Creator, Living God, Holy One.

Wonderful Counselor,

Almighty God,

Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Scriptures of God’s Praise in the Earth

Ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. Job 12:7-10

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19:1-4

Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts. Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away. Psalm 148:1-6

You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12

All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name. Psalm 66:4

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. John 1:3

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord. Psalm 96:11-13a

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13

Praises for Christ Jesus

When Jesus walked this earth, Creator among His own creation, He approached Jerusalem the week before His crucifixion, on what is now celebrated as Palm Sunday. Listen to His response regarding the praise He received that day.

Luke 19:37-40 – As he [Jesus] was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”

May we not allow temporary, earthly sorrow or the scorn of unbelievers to quench the everlasting joy of our salvation in Christ. We are the only element of God’s glorious creation given the choice of whether or not to praise His name.

May our praise never be drowned out by the rocks beneath our feet. Though our physical bodies are stationed in this fading world, may our spiritual gaze be fixed and steady on the Author and Finisher of our life and faith. Just a little longer now and we shall see our Savior.

The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World

I invite you to ponder anew the lyrics of a treasured hymn, “Joy to the World” in light of Psalm 98. This beloved song was based on this scripture. Try humming the song as you read…

Psalm 98~

Oh 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.

The Lord has made known his salvation;
he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.

He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness
to the house of Israel.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation of our God.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth;
break forth into joyous song and sing praises!

Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre,
with the lyre and the sound of melody!

With trumpets and the sound of the horn
make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord!

Let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
the world and those who dwell in it!

Let the rivers clap their hands;
let the hills sing for joy together

before the Lord, for he comes
to judge the earth.
He will judge the world with righteousness,
and the peoples with equity.

May our voices join together with all of creation to testify, our Creator, our Savior, our KING has come to save us from our sins. Forever!

Let our voices erupt in praise, once again!

Joy to the world!

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.

~Joy to the World By Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98.

I love how this treasured Christmas carol was inspired by Psalm 98. Beautiful! Joy to the World – Performed here by Nat King Cole

Additional Resources

The Sound of Joy at Christmas By Melissa McLaughlin

New Life, New Hope, New Birth at Christmas and Always By Melissa McLaughlin

Peace on Earth! But What Kind of Peace Did Jesus Bring? By Melissa McLaughlin

The Gift of Christ – Christmas Poem by Melissa McLaughlin

The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin
The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin
The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin
The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin
The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin
The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World
Photo ©Melissa McLaughlin

32 thoughts on “The Psalm that inspired Joy to the World”

  1. Merry Christmas dearest Melissa! Your poem is beautiful! The photos are beautiful! The passages of scripture that you chose are wonderful. No one can steal our joy in the Risen Christ, Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Thank you for this Christmas gift I have received here today…this inspiring post so beautifully composed in every detail. That is one of your gifts…you are detail oriented. One of your spiritual gifts is that of teaching. We are blessed that you share your talents…God bless you always!

    Reply
    • Merry Christmas to you, sweet Linda! I was actually thinking about worshiping the Lord, when the song “Joy to the World” echoed in my heart. Then as I was looking up information about that, discovered the reference to Psalm 98. God led me through that whole post, from the beauty of His creation, to the wonder of His Son and His Word, to the echoes of Christmas carols and the scriptures which remind of His truth again and again. What a wonderful God we serve. All glory to Him! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Reply
  2. Thank you for this post filled with the joy of the Lord. Praises to the King of kings, the Creator of masterpieces before our very eyes, the God above all gods! You have filled my heart with joy this morning, and it was much in need of filling!

    Reply
    • May the Lord bless you and fill you afresh, dear Melinda! I cannot count the many times God has encouraged my heart through your writing. I am humbled that He would use me to do the same for you. We carry such a treasure of forgiveness and the promise of heaven through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Joy to the world, joy to our hearts, joy in our voices, our Lord is come!

      Reply
  3. We can choose joy, a wonderful and necessary option and reading this psalm and singing this song can help the believer do just that. Joy to the World!

    Reply
    • It is true. Joy is internal overflow from focusing on the goodness of God. That is a choice indeed! Unlike happiness which is based on outward circumstances which ebb and flow. The goodness of Christ is forever wonderful! Joy to the world!

      Reply
  4. Melissa, thank you so much for this joy-filled post and how it highlights the way creation praises and reveals God. While I love all the Scripture verses I particularly love the one from the Book of Job – “In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”

    Reply
    • Thank you for stopping by, Anne. I appreciate your heart and feedback! I love that scripture from Job, too. Creation, the animals, plants, winds and waves know their Creator and Source. As we gaze upon the magnificence, life, complexity and intricacy of God’s world, may we sing together with the trees of the field and the ocean waves. The God who gave us life is mighty to save unto eternal life!

      Reply
  5. Gorgeous snow photos and stunning words and message. I’m set on praising my Savior all the day long. For the Lord is come and has come. And the King is coming back! Joy to the world! Jesus is the only source of true joyful hearts!

    Reply
    • And I will join you in praise of our Savior. As you said, Jesus is the only source of true joyful hearts, both now and forever! Joy to the world, our Lord is come and is coming again! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

      Reply

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