Monday, June 11, 2012

How Great Thou Art

A Swedish poem, "O Store Gud" (O Great God), was written by Carl Boberg in 1885.  Not long after it was used as a hymn in the underground Swedish church and later was translated into German and Russian.  E. Gustav Johnson translated the hymn into English in 1921, but it didn't catch on because it's literal translation is a little awkward.  In 1949, Stuart K. Hine heard the Russian translation of the hymn and made the English paraphrase, now known as "How Great Thou Art".  Though only a paraphrase, it manages to capture the original awe and wonder of Carl Boberg's poem.  He added the third verse about his amazement that Jesus would die for our sins.

Here are some of my favorite renditions:

Of course, it was George Beverly Shea who made the song famous in America when he performed it at a televised Billy Graham Crusade in Madison Square Garden.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.
Psalm 8:3-4 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the starswhich You have ordainedWhat is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him? 
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seenbeing understood through what has been madeso that they are without excuse.
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!
Psalm 145:3 Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, And His greatness is unsearchable.
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.

And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
Romans 8:32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us allhow will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
Hebrews 12:2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faithwho for the joy set before Him endured the crossdespising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
He bled and died to take away my sin.
John 1:29 The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said"Beholdthe Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise firstThen we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!
Revelation 7:11-12 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God saying, "Amenblessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power  and might, be to our God forever and everAmen."

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