But how did the world react to the King? Herod tried to eradicate Him along with all the other little tykes. (Mt2) Pilate recognized that He was the "King of the Jews" and yet turned him over for crucifixion. (Mt27:11,26, Jn19:22) The Jews on one hand welcomed "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!" (Mt21:9) and scarcely four days later screamed out, "Crucify Him!" (Mk15:13)
I dare say that people sing this song today much in the same way OT Jews would recite Isaiah 61. They would lump the "liberty to the captives" and "acceptable year of Jehovah" along with "rebuild the old wastes" and "repair the waste cities, what lay desolate for many generations". (vs1-4)
But right now "every heart" is -NOT- "preparing Him room" and "heaven and nature" are -NOT- "singing". As Paul writes, "For we know that the whole creation groans and travails together until now." (Rom8:22) The opening line of the song has NOT yet happened.
However, the song does proclaim truth. Only, its joy is for a time yet future. And the way things are looking, probably very soon after about seven years.
"I will also give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezk36:26) "And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob" (Rom11:26)
"And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication. And they shall look on Me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they shall be bitter over Him, like the bitterness over the firstborn." (Zec12:10)
To the little boy, the 'tank' ride meant he had won the imaginary 'game' his father had devised.
But after the time of "Jacob's trouble" (Jer30:7) Israel is also going to "win". And as the devil and his demons are bound in the "bottomless pit" for 1000 years (Rev20:1-4) what many today consider a 'failed' kingdom will "win". Satan presently has the "power of death" (Heb2:14) But in that day the proclamation will be fulfilled: "The kingdoms of this world have been made those of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!" (Rev11:15) as He will have fought "against those nations, like the day He fought in the day of battle" (Zec14:3)
The "Child" who was born will take to the "throne of David" and assume command of the "government" in "judgment and with justice" (Is9:6-7)
And when that happens, the rest of the song will also, then, be true. Nature will be restored. People will plant and the earth will produce. Animals will no longer be predatory. (Is11,65) People will still die, and "dust shall [still] be the serpent's food" (Is65:25); but wherever the "curse (of death) is found" God's "blessings" will flow. A person a hundred years old will be considered a "child" as people will "fulfill" their days. (Is65:20)
He rules the world with truth and grace And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness And wonders of His love
"...the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Strong and Mighty God, the Eternal Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace upon the throne of David there will be no end; and upon His kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from now on, even forever. The zeal of Jehovah of Hosts will accomplish this." (Is9:6-7)
A similar event is coming when all of history's humanity stands before the Great White Throne, and they look through the 'books' for names. And what they will be looking for is names "found written in the Book of Life". All the rest to be "cast into the Lake of Fire" (Rev20:15)
On what basis is one's name found in the Book of Life?
Jesus said, "I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE. No one comes to the Father except through Me" (Jn14:6)
Right now the world, under satan's rule (Lk4:5-6), is full of Wayward Rebellion, Lies and Death; the very antithesis of Jesus Christ.
However Jesus said, "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (Jn10:10b)
The Christian has the 'promise' of eternal life: "And this is the promise that He has promised us: Eternal Life." (1Jn2:25) And soon will be its fulfillment, the eagerly awaited "adoption, the redemption of the body" (Rom8:23) where we shed this earthly "corruption" and take on His "incorruption" and "immortality" (1Co15:50-54)
Yes, the angels proclaimed praises at Jesus' birth. But the total fulfillment is in yet "a little while" when we will see Him. (Jn16:19) Then it won't be just angels proclaiming praises, but those redeemed from the earth will proclaim, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb" (Rev7:10) And the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will sing "a new song" which "no one was able to learn" except for the 144,000 who are redeemed. (Rev14:3)
This song "Joy to the World" begins with four notes, the same opening 'tune' Handel wrote for a selection from his famous "Messiah"
"Lift up your heads, O you gates! And be lifted up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? Jehovah strong and mighty, Jehovah mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O you gates! Lift up, you everlasting doors! And the King of Glory shall come in. Who is this King of Glory? Jehovah of Hosts, He is the King of Glory." (Ps24:7-10)