“For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up a myrtle tree:” (Isaiah 55:12, 13).
The well-loved hymn, “Joy to the World,” is not about Christmas, Christ’s first coming, at all. Rather it is about His, yet future, second coming as “King over all the earth” (Zechariah 14:9). This theme is obvious in the third verse.
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found.
Today we live in a world dominated by sin and its consequences-pain, sorrow, disease and death. But when He returns and claims His full victory, He “shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). Even the earth and its flora will rejoice, as we see in our text.
Our home on this “new earth” (Revelation 21:1), will be “the holy city, New Jerusalem” (v.2). Our food will be “the tree of life” (Revelation 22:2) and our drink “a pure river of water of life” (vat). He promises that He will come to make “the places round above my hill a blessing” (Ezekiel 34:26).
The contrast between that world of blessing and our world is great. “The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants there of. . . . Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate” (Isaiah 24:5,6).
But when He comes all the consequences of man’s rebellion will be removed, “and there shall be no more curse” (Revelation 22:3). Only then will there be “Joy to the Earth.”