Our Bible verse for today: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “This is my Father’s world.”
All throughout this month I’ve been using the phrase “This is my Father’s world” to help emphasize the important truth that all of creation belongs to God and that we, His children, have been given the task of taking good care of it for Him. In Genesis 1:1 we’re told that God created it all, and in Genesis 2:15 we learn that God gave Adam the task of caring for His creation. That assignment has been handed down over all the generations since then, and now it belongs to us.
I’ve also mentioned that the phrase “This is my Father’s world” actually comes from an old Baptist hymn by that name. It was written around 1880 by a preacher by the name of Maltbie Babcock. Babcock was an impressive man. He was tall, broad-shouldered, and muscular. He was a gifted athlete who excelled in baseball and competitive swimming, and he was also an outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fish, and hike. One church member wrote about him that he was “a superb specimen of physical manhood” and “a manlier man never stood in a Christian pulpit.” We laugh at that description but in his day that was a high compliment which shows how much he was admired and respected. (Babcock also had the reputation of sometimes using his size and strength to teach bullies a lesson. If the bully didn’t respond to verbal correction and warning, Babcock would take him around back of the building and use a little more forceful persuasion).
The inspiration for the song “This is my Father’s World” came from Babcock’s love for God’s creation. He thoroughly enjoyed being out in nature, encountering God in His creation, and marveling at the majesty of the hills and trees, the streams and rivers, the birds and animals. “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 was a Christian who understood and appreciated the magnificence of God’s creation. He enjoyed it, he celebrated it, and he cared for it. May the same be true of us.