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green and brown trees beside body of water during daytime

“This Is My Father’s World”

The Revealed Word of God tells us in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a
season”, while, in Ecclesiastes 3:11, Solomon adds this truth, “He has made everything
beautiful in His time”. Our Lord God also reminds us, in Psalm 24: 1, that, “The earth is
the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein…”.
Apparently, this is what Maltbie L. Babcock had in mind when he wrote the hymn we
know as, “This Is My Father’s World”. He was born in Syracuse, New York, August 3,
1858, into a socially prominent family who gave him many opportunities to succeed,
and he did not waste them. At University he was a champion baseball pitcher as well as
a varsity swimmer. In the years that followed he was ordained into the Presbyterian
Church and had a notable ministry in Baltimore and then in New York City’s Brick
Presbyterian Church. He died at the young age of 43 while on a vacation to Naples,
Italy. Known by his friends as Rev. Maltbie, he would, by now, be totally forgotten
except for one small thing: he had put pen to paper and written a song! That song is
what preserves his story for those among us who love the old hymns. A skilled
musician, and a great lover of nature, he enjoyed the great outdoors. While living and
pastoring in New York, he was inspired to write ‘This Is My Father’s World’ as he set
out on one of his walks in the countryside. Before going for his walks he
would say to his wife, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world”, and, on one such walk
to the top of a nearby hill which gave him a full view of Lake Ontario, he said he felt
inspired to write down the phrase, ‘This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears All
nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres’. Maltbie Babcock really did
understand that nature reflects God’s creative workmanship, but also that the Lord God
controls man’s destiny. So it was that one of his verses reads:

‘This is my Father’s
world, O let me ne’er forget That though 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 heaven be one’.

I have a question to leave with you this month –
Who’s controlling your destiny?