How Great Thou Art

Gospel image 2
image from http://www.norcalepiscopal.org

Today I want to share with you the history of a hymn that has had a great impact in my life. I used to fear death until when I heard of this song especially the last stanza… that when I die in Christ, it is home (not a strange place) that I will go to…. When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation, And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.

One thing about this hymn it says “When we reach that heavenly home, we will fully understand the greatness of God, and will bow in humble adoration, saying to Him, O Lord my God, how great thou art.”

How Great Thou Art – The History of the hymn
The history of the hymn How Great Thou Art begins with Mr. Carl Gustaf Boberg (1859-1940). He was a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament. Mr. Boberg was enjoying a nice walk when a thunderstorm suddenly appeared out of no where. A severe wind began to blow. After the storm was over, Mr. Boberg looked out over the clear bay. He then heard a church bell in the distance. And the words to How Great Thou Art begin to form in his heart — O Lord, my God, When I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy hands hath made. . . Can you imagine what Boberg felt as he formed these words? There was such calmness after the fierce storm he could only utter those words of peace.

Doves
image from http://www.fanpop.com

How Great Thou Art – Translated by Stuart K. Hine
How Great Thou Art was translated by Stuart K. Hine, the English missionary to Ukraine. He found some version of the Russian text and sang it at an evangelistic meeting with his wife. He then translated the first three stanzas into English, which was sung at an evangelistic meeting in England during World War One. He published the first three verses (in both English and Russian) in 1949 in Grace and Peace, a Russian evangelistic paper which Hine edited. He later wrote the fourth verse as a triumphant message of life eternal.

How Great Thou Art – Sung by George Beverly Shea
How Great Thou Art was sung by George Beverly Shea at the London Crusade of the Billy Graham evangelistic team in 1954. He later sang this song over 100 times during a revival in New York at a Billy Graham Crusade. This caused the hymn to receive new attention in Sweden and America and be published in several songbooks.

Today millions across the world continue to sing this beautiful song. Giving God all praise, glory, and honor for who He is — the Creator of this universe.

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 How Great Thou Art – The 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.

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.

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!”

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praying silhoutte
Image from http://www.ulc.org/

May we all live in such a way that we will be ready when Jesus Christ appears to receive the saints. Our heavenly home awaits us, all of those who have received Christ in obedience.

 

Research: http://hymnuts.luthersem.edu/hcompan
Acknowledgement: Author Lucy Adams-http://52hymns.com

 Magdaline ’11

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