Maltbie D. Babcock, 1858-1901

He loveth righteousness and judgment: the earth is full of the goodness of the LORD.
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 creation 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 singing 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 God's creation 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 frequently 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 creation seemed to him to be "the music of the spheres". In addition to being a tribute to creation, 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 this world, we cannot help being concerned that much of the loveliness is being destroyed by human carelessness and selfishness. 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, showing others the joy of worshipping the Creator rather than the creation or creatures.

[JMS: something that has come to my attention is the fact that the term "nature" in the Bible is referring not to creation, but to the nature of men (sinful), of angels, of God. Once it speaks of the nature of plant life, but never is creation referred to as "nature".

I am very concerned that "Mother Nature" is another way of cutting God out of our minds, our hearts, our very words. Please keep this in mind: there are multitudinous verses in the Old and New Testament that God the Son is Creator! Acknowledging "Mother Nature" is not honoring Him!]

This is my Fatherís world, and to my listening ears
Creation sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres.
This is my Fatherís world: I rest me in the thought
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas;
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Fatherís world, the birds their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white, declare their Makerís praise.
This is my Fatherís world: He shines in all thatís fair;
In the rustling grass I hear Him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.

This is my Fatherís world. O let me neíer forget
That though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.
This is my Fatherís world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let the earth be glad!

This is my Fatherís world, dreaming, I see His face.
I ope my eyes, and in glad surprise cry, ďThe Lord is in this place.Ē
This is my Fatherís world, from the shining courts above,
The Beloved One, His Only Son,
Cameóa pledge of deathless love.

This is my Fatherís world, should my heart be ever sad?
The Lord is Kingólet the heavens ring. God reignsólet the earth be glad.
This is my Fatherís world. Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod.
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Fatherís world. I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze God makes His glory known.
This is my Fatherís world, a wanderer I may roam
Whateíer my lot, it matters not,
My heart is still at home.

*For Today*: Psalm 8, 24:1 & 2, 145:1-13; Isaiah 45:18; I 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.


Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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