HOW GREAT THOU ART!
English Words by Stuart K. Hine, 1899–
Every day I will praise You and extol Your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom. (Psalm 145:2, 3)
Today’s inspiring hymn of praise and adoration reminds us of God’s unlimited power and love in creation and redemption. Although written in the past century, the hymn has become familiar to congregations just since the close of World War II. It especially became an international favorite after the Billy Graham Evangelistic Team used it in their crusades during the late 1940’s and early 1950’s.
The original text was written by a Swedish pastor, Carl Boberg, in 1886. While visiting a beautiful country estate, Boberg was caught in a sudden thunderstorm. The awesome and violent lightning and thunder quickly ended, leaving clear brilliant sunshine and the calm, sweet singing of the birds in the trees. Falling on his knees in awe and adoration of Almighty God, the pastor wrote nine stanzas of praise. Swedish congregations began to sing his lines to one of their old folk tunes. The text was later translated into German and Russian and ultimately into English by the Reverend S. K. Hine and his wife, English missionaries to the people of the Ukraine. When war broke out in 1939, it was necessary for the Hines to return to Britain, where Mr. Hine added the fourth stanza to this hymn. These four stanzas by Stuart Hine have since ministered and inspired God’s people worldwide:
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 pow’r thruout the universe displayed!
When thru 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.
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 there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
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!
For Today: Deuteronomy 3:24; Psalm 48:1; Isaiah 40:26, 28; Romans 1:20
Take time to think once again about the unfathomable greatness of God and His wonderful redeeming love for each of us.