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—