How Great Thou Art

140317-coslog-monkey_acef96fca52c1dd1030276477110884cO Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Refrain

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Refrain

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!

Written by Carl Gustav Boberg, 1885
Music traditional Swedish melody

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:1-7

 

There are certain hymns that everyone knows, often whether you are a Christian or not. This is one of them. How Great Thou Art seems as though it has been around forever, but the reality this hymn, as we know it, has only been around for 60 years. While the original swedish poem was written in 1885, the english version we now know was published in 1954.

But it is the words of this song, set to a traditional swedish melody, that stir people’s hearts to make what is in many ways a relatively recent addition to hymnals one of everyone’s favorites.

It starts with words that set the stage. “Oh Lord my God.” These words say it all. To often today we get caught up in the mentality that Jesus is my buddy. While it is true that He is described as one who is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), he is more. He is the almighty creator of the universe. We are not simply talking about our good, or even best, friend. We are talking about God. And so these words stir me every time I sing them, “Oh Lord My God.”

But this is again, just the beginning, for the next line opens the door for all that is to come, “when I in awesome wonder.” I am astounded by the size and majesty of the universe that He has created. I see His awesome power revealed in the powers of the storms. And the power and beauty of his creation is further developed in verse two.

In verse three I am moved from considering the awesomeness and beauty of his creation, to considering the unfathomable gift of forgiveness that He has given through Jesus. He sent His very son to die on the cross that I might be forgiven of my sins.

This is the truth that we to often forget. God is to be revered and worshiped above all. He is worthy of this worship both because of who He is and what He has done. It is before this God that we can not even stand, but in awe of His greatness we are driven to our knees in worship.

This is where we find ourselves in verse four. “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!”

And so, in a powerful voice, I declare with so many others, “Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!

 

 

Read more about the history of “How Great Thou Art.”

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