Devotion in Motion: The often-overlooked 3rd verse

And there shall be no more curse, but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it, and His servants shall serve Him.  Revelation 22:3  (NKJV)     

By Bro. John L. Cash

What is your favorite Christmas carol? It might be hard for you to decide, but it’s an easy choice for me. In fact, I even know which verse of the song that I like the best. By far, my favorite carol is “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts. And my favorite verse is the 3rd one, the one that goes like this:

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.

I read an article this week that surprised me. It said this 3rd verse is often omitted from newer hymnals. The hymnbook-assemblers say it’s absurd to sing about such a terrible thing (“the curse”) with a joyful, threefold repetition. I’m not the brightest person in the world, but I think these folks are completely missing the point. This stanza is the happiest, most complete proclamation of the goodness of the Gospel I can imagine. This 3rd verse says the coming of Christ brings an end to the effects of the Curse.

What is the Curse? The Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that the Curse entered the world as a result of Adam’s sin. Before the Curse, everything in the universe was pure, and it all worked like clockwork. But since Adam sinned, everything has been infiltrated and infected by death, decay, pain, corruption and hatred. Nothing ever works the way it’s supposed to — at least not without a lot of struggle and effort.

You only have to take a glance at a newspaper to see that the Curse touches everything. And its influence is spreading. But this song makes me rejoice at the thought of the Gospel. “He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the Curse is found.” Wherever the influence of sin has traveled, the blessing of Christ flows further. That’s why we can truly sing, “Joy to the World!”

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 32 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. He recently retired after 28 years as a Mississippi public schoolteacher, and is now a stay-at-home-grandpa with his new grandson, Landon Cash.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in a brick house in town (where the snow is gone and things ab  Their kids include Spencer (age 26), his wife Madeline (age 26), and Seth (age 23), and his wife Leanne (age 22). You can send him a note at