THIS IS MY FATHER’S WORLD
Maltbie D. Babcock, 1858–1901
The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. (Psalm 33:5)
Even though we are constantly reminded of the violence, tragedy, and ugliness in today’s world, we can still rejoice that the beauty of nature all around is ours to enjoy. Who can deny the pleasure that comes from the sight of a glowing sunset or a majestic mountain, the sound of chirping birds or the roar of the surf, and the smell of new mown hay or roses or lilies.
Maltbie D. Babcock revealed his great admiration for nature in this lovely hymn text. Although he was recognized as one of the outstanding Presbyterian ministers of his generation, Dr. Babcock was also a skilled athlete who enjoyed all outdoor activity, especially his early morning walks. He would always comment, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.” Since Dr. Babcock was an accomplished performer on the organ, the piano and the violin, we can see why nature seemed to him to be “the music of the spheres.” In addition to being a tribute to nature, however, the hymn is a triumphant assertion of the unfailing power of God and the assurance of Christ’s eventual reign—“and earth and heav’n be one.”
As we follow Dr. Babcock’s example and give praise to God for all the beauty of His world, we cannot help being concerned that much of the loveliness is being destroyed by human carelessness and greed. The real answer to our ecological problems must be a renewed appreciation of earth as “our Father’s world” and a greater responsibility for taking proper care of it. Christians should be models of this concern.
This is my Father’s world, and to my list’ning ears all nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres. This is my Father’s world! I rest me in the thought of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—His hand the wonders wrought.
This is my Father’s world—the birds their carols raise; the morning light, the lily white, declare their Maker’s praise. This is my Father’s world! He shines in all that’s fair; in the rustling grass I hear Him pass—He speaks to me ev’rywhere.
This is my Father’s world—O let me ne’er forget that tho the wrong seems oft so strong God is the Ruler yet. This is my Father’s world! The battle is not done; Jesus who died shall be satisfied, and earth and heav’n be one.
For Today: Psalm 8; 24:1, 2; 145:1–13; Isaiah 45:18; 1 Corinthians 15:25, 26
Determine to cultivate a renewed awareness and appreciation of the marvels of God’s creation all around you. Endeavor to be even more responsible as a caretaker of your Father’s world. Sing this musical praise as you go—
Osbeck, K. W.
- O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the world! which hast set thy glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength, because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. When I behold thine heavens, even the works of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained. What is man, say I, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him to have dominion in the works of thine hands, thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen: yea, and the beasts of the field: The fowls of the air, and the fish of the seas. O Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy Name in all the world! Psalm 8
- The earth is the Lord’s, and all that therein is: the world and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas; and established it upon the floods. Psalm 24:1-2
- O God and King, I will extol thee, and will bless thy Name forever and ever. I will bless thee daily, and praise thy Name forever and ever. Great is the Lord, and most worthy to be praised, and his greatness is incomprehensible. Generation shall praise thy works unto generation, and declare thy power. I will meditate of the thy glorious majesty, and thy wonderful works. And they shall speak of the power of thy dreadful acts, and I will declare thy greatness. They shall break out into the mention of thy great goodness, and shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. The Lord is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great mercy. The Lord is good to all, and his mercies are over all his works. All thy works praise thee, O Lord, and thy Saints bless thee. They show the glory of thy kingdom, and speak of thy power, To cause his power to be known to the sons of men, and the glorious renown of his kingdom. Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all ages. The Lord upholdeth all that fall, and lifteth up all that are ready to fall. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and fillest all things living of thy good pleasure. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. The Lord is near unto all that call upon him, yea, to all that call upon him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him: he will also hear their cry, and will save them. The Lord preserveth all them that love him; but he will destroy the wicked. My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and all flesh shall bless his holy Name forever and ever. Psalm 145:1-13
- For this saith the Lord (that created heaven, God himself that formed the earth, and made it: he that prepared it, he created it not in vain: he formed it to be inhabited) I am the Lord, and there is none other. Isaiah 45:18
- For he must reign till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death. 1 Corinthians 15:25-26