How Great Thou Art

Listen…

Lyrics…

O 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.

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour 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 see the brook,
and feel the gentle breeze.

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

And when I think,
that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die,
I scarce can take it in;
That on a Cross,
my burdens gladly bearing,
He bled and died,
to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

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 then proclaim:
“My God, how great Thou art!”

Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul,
My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art,
How great Thou art!

Author: Carl Gustav Boberg
Eng Translation: Stuart K. Hine (1949)

discover more…

Psalm 19:1-4 (AMP)

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.
Day after day pours forth speech,
And night after night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars];
Their voice is not heard.
Yet their voice [in quiet evidence] has gone out through all the earth,
Their words to the end of the world.
In them and in the heavens He has made a tent for the sun,

and more…

    • Psalm 8
    • Isaiah 45:18
    • Matthew. 24:30-44
    • John 14:3
    • Acts 1:11
    • Acts 4:12
    • Romans 5:6-10
    • 2 Corinthians 5:21
    • Colossians 2:9-15
    • 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
    • Hebrews 9:28
    • 1 Peter 1:17-23
    • 1 Peter 2:24-25
    • Revelation 1:7
    • Revelation 5:9
    • Revelation 22:12-13
    • Revelation 22:20

Contributor…

Chris Dorman

Chris Dorman

Dig Deeper…

When Scott, Don and I discussed which hymns we wanted to write about, I knew if I was going to write about any of them, I had to write about THIS one. Why this one?

This hymn is one I was exposed to very early on in my pilgrimage with Christ, and as I listened to it and really thought about the lyrics so many years ago, I realized something very important: I realized I didn’t look at God the same way the writer of this hymn (Carl Boberg) did. This hymn celebrates God as Creator, God as the sender of Jesus of Nazareth, the sacrifice of the Lamb of God and of His glorious Second Coming. While I appreciated then (and now) the second and third stanzas, it was the first stanza — God as Creator – (along with the repeated refrain) that made me stop and think about God in ways I hadn’t yet.

Oh 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

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

I started to think about what I knew to be true of God and found that I didn’t know very much. Yes, I had a relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, but I didn’t really know Who God was. When I asked others what they knew of God, virtually no one had any meaningful, life altering knowledge of God beyond the fact that He existed and sent His Son Jesus to die for their sins. Yet the writer of this hymn was celebrating God with a passion that, to me, made clear he had to know something about God that I did not.

I began to ask myself “what can be known about God?” Even though I was a young Christian I knew whatever the answer to that question was, I would find it in the Bible. But I didn’t know where to start.

I eventually stumbled upon A.W. Tozer’s book, The Knowledge of the Holy, a book about the attributes of God. I then read A.W. Pink’s book, The Attributes of God. These books, and others, led me to dig ever deeper into the Scriptures to really see God as He had revealed Himself.

This study permanently and radically changed my life.

And it all started with this hymn.

This hymn is therefore precious to me and one I will cherish forever.

Here is some of what I learned…

What comes into your mind when we think about God is the most important thing about us… worship is pure or base as the worshipper entertains high or low thoughts about God…

A right conception of God is basic not only to systematic theology but to practical Christian living as well… It is to worship what the foundation is to the temple; where it is inadequate or out of plumb the whole structure must sooner or later collapse. I believe there is scarcely an error in doctrine or a failure in applying Christian ethics that cannot be traced finally to imperfect and ignoble thoughts about God.” A.W. Tozer, The Knowledge of the Holy.

What does come to your mind when you think about God? Honestly, stop and ask yourself that question… maybe jot down what comes to mind. It really is very important, much more so than you may yet realize.

In the packaging for the Roxology CD is a quote from Dr. J.I. Packer. If you don’t have the CD, I want to encourage you to GO GET IT as the artists deserve your support! Until then, though, here is that quote:

“Today, vast stress is laid on the thought that God is personal, but this truth is so stated as to leave the impression that God is a person of the same sort as we are – weak, inadequate, ineffective, a little pathetic. But this is not the God of the Bible! Our personal life is a finite thing: it is limited in every direction, in space, in time, in knowledge in power. But God is not so limited. He is eternal, infinite, and almighty. He has us in His hands; but we never have Him in ours. Like us, He is personal; but unlike us, He is great. In all its constant stress on the reality of God’s personal concern for His people, and on the gentleness, tenderness, sympathy, patience, and yearning compassion that He shows towards them, the Bible never lets us lose sight of His majesty, and His unlimited dominion over all His creatures… But this is knowledge which Christians today largely lack: and that is one reason why our faith is so feeble and our worship so flabby.” J.I. Packer, Knowing God, p. 73-74.

The Scriptures speak of the greatness of God and the majesty of His Person and work. The Bible is really His Story – of God’s workings in and through His creation. The Bible tells us that God is Great! The Bible tells us that God is Mighty!

Yet, when you contemplate God, do these thoughts fill your heart? Many of us carry around concepts of God that are simply unworthy of Him and don’t come close to Who He truly is.

The God of “terrible majesty” (Job 37:22 KJV) fills the pages of the Bible, the One that to fear is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7) and wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). The God of Scripture is a Being we tend to be uncomfortable with so what do we do? We dummy Him down in our thinking until He is really something less in our minds than He is in reality. And this, Tozer tells us, creates problems for us.

When was the last time you meditated on the fact that God is your Creator? Not to win an argument or as part of a theological debate, but just as an act of worship – as this hymn does? Most of us are familiar with the very first words of Scripture that declare that God is our creator. How many of us, though, are familiar with how many OTHER times the Old Testament speaks to the fact that God is our creator? Check out the list provided with the hymn O The Deep Deep Love of Jesus for a sampling (Genesis 1:1-31, Genesis 2:2-19, Genesis 5:1-2, Genesis 6:7, Genesis 9:6; Exodus 4:11, Exodus 20:11, Exodus 31:15-17; Deuteronomy 4:32, Deuteronomy 32:6-18; 1 Chronicles 16:26; Nehemiah 9:6; Job 10:8-12, Job 26:7-13, Job 33:4-6, Job 38:4; Psalm 8:3-8, Psalm 33:6-7, Psalm 74:12-17, Psalm 89:11-12, Psalm 90:2, Psalm 94:9, Psalm 95:5, Psalm 96:5, Psalm 100:3, Psalm 102:25, Psalm 104:24-30, Psalm 115:15, Psalm 119:73, Psalm 121:2, Psalm 124:8, Psalm 134:3, Psalm 135:5-9, Psalm 139:14-18, Psalm 146:5-6, Psalm 148:5; Proverbs 3:19, Proverbs 16:4, Proverbs 20:12, Proverbs 26:10; Ecclesiastes 3:11, Ecclesiastes 7:13, Ecclesiastes 12:1; Isaiah 27:11, Isaiah 29:16, Isaiah 37:16, Isaiah 40:25-31, Isaiah 42:5, Isaiah 43:7, Isaiah 44:24, Isaiah 45:7-18, Isaiah 51:13, Isaiah 57:15-16, Isaiah 66:1-2; Jeremiah 10:10-13, Jeremiah 14:22, Jeremiah 27:5, Jeremiah 32:17, Jeremiah 51:15; Amos 4;13; Zechariah 12:1; Malachi 2:10). Why does God remind us over and over again He is our Creator? Because we are a forgetful people and this is something God wants us to contemplate – often.

But why?

You can never know who you are until you know Who your God is. And a good place to start when trying to really see God as the Bible reveals Him is to meditate on the fact that He is your Creator!

Consider just a few of the many powerful implications of the fact that God is our creator:

As we contemplate the revelation of God in Scripture, we see that one of the implications of God being our Creator is that He is eternal, a truth that brought Job to his knees in humility and worship (Job 38, Job 42:1-6). If God is eternal, then He must also be self-sufficient; God is not dependent on anyone or anything to accomplish His purposes (Romans 11:33-36) so nothing can keep His purposes from prevailing; God always wins. Contemplation of the self-sufficiency of God makes one realize God does not love us because He needs us or because we fill some longing inside of Him. No, He is complete in Himself and has no need of anyone; He loves us for the sheer joy it gives us both! Contemplation of God as Creator confirms for us God is omnipotent (all powerful) and therefore He has the power to do all that is necessary to accomplish His purposes (Numbers 11:23; Job 42:2). Contemplation of God as Creator confirms for us our responsibility to Him as well; we are His and we are here to do as He wills and leads; our lives do not belong to us but to God (Psalm 100:3; Romans 14:8; Galatians 2:20).

And what is the result of seeing God in this way?

Oh 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

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

I was drawn closer to God as I gained a clearer picture of Who He Is, a path I started down all those years ago because of the power of this hymn, How Great Thou Art.

And my life was never and will never be the same. I pray this hymn has the same transformative effect in your own life as it has had in mine.

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