We are constantly reminded of the violence, tragedy, and ugliness in today’s world; but we can still rejoice in the beauty of nature and give praise to God for all the beauty of His world that our five senses can freely enjoy.
Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901) wrote, “This is my Father’s world,” and it is unknown the year it was penned. Shortly after his death at age 42, his wife Katherine published it. It was set to music in 1915 by Franklin L. Shepphard (1852-1930) a close friend of Babcock.
We only sing three verses and for some reason, the last verse changed in hymn books. The original lyrics sung,
This is my Father’s world: Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is king: Let the Heavens ring!
God reigns: Let the Earth be glad.
Much of it refers to Jacob’s exclamation, “The Lord is in this place” (Genesis 28:16), and the still small voice in 1 Kings 19:12.
The final stanza is paraphrasing Psalm 96:10-11. It is all summed up in Psalm 24:1-10.
Verse 1: 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.
Verse 2: 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.
Verse 3: 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.