When I was a kid our family vacationed at a YMCA camp in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of northern Minnesota. There I learned how to handle a canoe and pitch a tent. And there I learned to love singing around the evening campfire. Our song “This Is My Father’s World” was one of many I first sang there. Years later I was dismayed to read a Bible verse that called Satan “the god of this world” which would seem to make this song say Satan was my father. YIKES! I thought I could never enjoy this song again. What a shame! I’m so thankful someone turned the lights on for me and helped me understand the “world” as used in that Bible verse has nothing to do with God’s magnificent creation of the heavens and the earth. It is referring to man’s world systems of culture — philosophies, religions, education, commerce and the like. No question, Satan’s handiwork is evident in THESE areas. But God’s work STANDS. I was SO happy to get my song back again. Give it a listen, then come back and we’ll connect the message of this song with the whole duty of man. Don’t miss THAT! ?
God’s first act; man’s whole duty
Do you know the first act of God recorded in the Bible?
Have you seen what Ecclesiastes says is the whole duty of man?
Do you think these would be good things to know for a successful life?
Do you imagine God wants His people to know these?
Do you imagine Satan wants people to know these?
Let all the earth fear the LORD:
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.
For he spake, and it was done;
he commanded, and it stood fast.
This Psalm connects God’s first recorded act (He created the heaven and the earth) with Ecclesiastes’ whole duty of man (fear God and keep His commandments).
We enjoy being in a “cozy room” with God. God IS good. God IS loving. God IS gracious. God IS merciful. God IS kind. God IS understanding. God IS patient. Sometimes we hear Him called “Daddy”. We like the idea that He will always love us “no matter what we do”.
But we need to enter that cozy room through the right door or we as people will not be what God has made us to be, and we as a church will not accomplish what God has made us to accomplish. The Bible teaches:
The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of knowledge.
The fear of the Lord is the BEGINNING of wisdom.
The fear of the Lord brings God’s watchfulness.
The fear of the Lord brings confidence and refuge.
The fear of the Lord is a fountain of life.
The fear of the Lord enables satisfying sleep untouched by evil.
The fear of the Lord brings stability of times and strength of salvation.
The fear of the Lord is to hate evil. Pride. Arrogance. Disobedience.
When the fear — proper respect and awe — of the Lord is at the core of the church we see repentance and a great move of God. Gossip and criticism disappear. Signs, miracles and wonders increase, bringing deliverance and winning souls.
Creation or evolution – “Whatever”
Awhile back a photo circulated of a famous entertainer (who could dance) dangling his infant son over a hotel balcony four stories above his fans gathered below. (To his credit he later apologized.) As awful as this image is, it seems to me it is not much different from the harm we expose our own children to when we don’t clearly teach them to give God Almighty the awe and fear due Him as The Creator. Does God see? Does God hear? Does God know?
Standing in awe of the Creator should be the foundation of our relationship with Him. Maintaining proper awe and respect for The Creator puts us in a better place to receive His goodness, love, guidance, power and the deliverance He has for us.
The fear that defeats all fear
I John 4 says, “Perfect love casts out fear.” Does this mean that “fearing God” went out with the Old Testament, and as Christians we can skip the “fear God” step and just enjoy His love, banking on His grace? Some teach that.
The truth is when we put God first — when we respect Him, stand in awe of Him, in other words “fear Him” — all other things we might be afraid of become smaller. Sure, disease has power to hurt, but NOT AS MUCH POWER AS GOD HAS TO HEAL. When we recognize and embrace God as the greatest power, everything else can fall in line in its proper order.
When we stand in awe of God and His Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, we embrace power we need to minister to people crying out for deliverance. AWESOME!
Our song “This Is My Father’s World” is a beautiful expression of the unique nature of God Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. “I rest me in the thought” of His creative power and marvelous works. He is AWESOME and He is Love.
God bless you lots!
Download this song sheet from The Music Box
LYRICS: This Is My Father’s World
Text: Maltbie D. Babcock (1858-1901)
Tune: Franklin L. Sheppard (1852-1930)
1 This is my Father’s world,
And to my listening 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.
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 everywhere.
3 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:
Why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King: let the heavens ring!
God reigns; let earth be glad!
Is God Awesome?
Please share your thoughts in “Leave a Reply” below.
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Thanks once again Dale for posting these great songs and their tremendous meaning and heart to us all. We’ve loved this song for many years and have sung it at our Bible fellowships with joy. I have been looking much at, and sharing with others about the fear or deep reverence that our God and Father so deserves, and how taking a closer look at HIs handywork, the expanse and detail of creation, brings us to a place of overwhelming awe!! Psalm 19 has been on my heart much lately… “The heavens declare (rehearse, over and over again) the Glory of God (EL, The Almighty) And I’m so glad you sang the original lyric! I’ve never seen that last part of the last chorus!! Thanks again Dale, what a blessing you are to the Body of Christ!!
Thanks for sharing. Excellent thoughts! God bless ya! – D.
I spent many many years as a born again Christian aloof from any kind understanding in depth of “the fear of the Lord” even though I knew where to find some of the scriptures. Then about 4 years ago or so I spent and entire year focused on Jesus and Jesus only when studying the scriptures for the most part, AND THEN much of what you speak and sung of today started to come alive and is still living and real in my heart every morning. Jesus said, “he who has seen me has seen the Father” and I started to get it. I see the goodness of God in His creation of Genesis 1& 2 and stand in great awe every evening or morning when I get to gaze at the stars briefly. He set them in their places and they do not fall out out the sky. His timing written in the stars is so perfect that we can have a space program just east of Orlando and know where to shoot rockets, satelites, and to put men on the moon. I am sure Donny, could got on this for quite some time in teaching and discussion. We are His masterpieces because of Jesus, and He (God) raised his (Jesus) body from the dead so we can understand the fear of the Lord. Our God is good and our Lord has finished it for us. We even get the opportunity to walk as he (Jesus) walked perceive this fear of the Lord deeper because when Jesus was raised, so were we. We can give God the honor He is do in our hearts because what was lacking (gift of holy spirit) is now given. I hope this makes sense. I had no fear or awe of for God, let alone Jesus until I spoke in tongues 43 years ago. There’s no looking back. I stand in great awe looking at the heavenlies, the scriptures, and my Lord Jesus Christ. AMEN Thanks for this Dale.
Michael, thanks for adding these thoughts. Excellent! God bless you! – drDR
Thanks for the great song, Dale!
I had the same thoughts about the “My Father’s world” contradiction to 2 Corinthians 4:4 “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe…” at one time. Your explanation makes so much sense. I’m so glad to be able to listen and appreciate the beautiful song of appreciation for our amazing, beautiful Earth.
I like “The Earth is the Lords and the fullness thereof; the world and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1 Our Heavenly Father has it all!!
Thanks, Cathy! Glad to share it with YOU!
Well once again you touch my heart. A meaningful song to accompany your great message. What I got from it was that yes we have God’s grace and that’s huge but in appreciation and praise we have a responsibility to show God all the honor, glory and respect he’s due for the fullness of all He is. You and Cathy both are are great ministers. Love your emailed messages.
Linda, Thanks for your kind words and summary! I think I’ve only scratched the surface on getting a useful understanding of “the fear of the Lord”. The fear of the Lord changed Isaiah (Isaiah chapter 6). The fear of the Lord is one of the characteristics of the spirit of the Lord “the Branch” prophesied in Isaiah 11:1-2 will have. The fear of the Lord changed the early church in Acts 5 (the incident with Ananias and Sapphira inspired awe toward God and toward the church itself resulting in signs, miracles etc.). The fear of the Lord is connected with a LOT of things needed for life and godliness in the Bible. I touched on only a few in the “sermon”. What I think I’m seeing here is that when we have “the fear of the Lord” in proper balance, it means that as serious as God is about energizing His people, WE are becoming likewise serious about being ministers who are fully charged up, without fear, not ashamed of the gospel, imparting God’s deliverance like Jesus demonstrated. This is about becoming as useful to God the Father and Jesus our Lord as they need and want us to be for Kingdom work here and now. It is about LIVING IT UP with the Lord!!! God bless you lots – D