Summary: How Great Thou Art is a top scared hymn of praise among God’s people

How Great Thou Art is a top scared hymn of praise among God’s people

The English translation was written by Stuart K. Hine along with the music arrangement

The text was based on the Bible verse Psalm 145:3 “Great is the Lord, and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom”

I like how the Contemporary English Version says it

Psalms 145:3. You are wonderful, LORD, and you deserve all praise, because you are much greater than anyone can understand.

The original Swedish text was a poem entitled “O Store Gud”, written in 1886 by a Swedish preacher Carl Boberg.

Boberg’s inspiration for “How Great Thou Art” came from a visit to a beautiful country estate on the southeast coast of Sweden

He got caught up in a midday thunderstorm with awe-inspiring moments of flashing violence, followed by a clear brilliant sun

Soon afterwards he heard the calm, sweet songs of the birds in nearby trees.

The experience prompted Boberg to “fall on his knees in humble adoration of his mighty God”

The English translator Stuart Hine with his wife, was a missionary in Poland and Czechoslovakia

The thought of writing the original English lyrics came while crossing into the Carpathian Mountains of Russia in the 1930’s

Where the scenery greatly played its part.

One day the couple was caught in a violent storm

The thoughts of the first three verses in English were conceived

The forth verse was penned after World War II

This morning we will be looking at how each of these verses touch our lives indifferent ways

How they portray the Scriptures and how this great song of praise truly does that

Praise the name of our Lord

I. His Power and Might

“awesome wonder”

“all the works Thy hands have made”

“the stars…mighty thunder”

“Thy power throughout the universe displayed”

You ever wondered about some of the works His hand have made?

Ever seen a picture of a platypus?

Strand creature these things are

They live on the east coast of Australia

The bizarre appearance of this mammal baffled European naturalists when they first encountered it, with some considering it an elaborate fraud

First off it is a mammal – that lays eggs

It has a beaver like tail, a bill that looks like a duck

Its feet are like an otter, webbed for swimming

And it is venomous

It is one of the few venomous mammals

The male platypus has a spur on the hind foot that delivers a venom capable of causing severe pain to humans

It is indeed an amazing creature

I think these are proof of God having a sense of humor

They are funny looking

And indeed part of the mighty works He has made

How about a cheetah?

The smallest of the big cats, it has amazing speed and stealth, while lacking climbing skills

It is the fastest land animal reaching speeds between 70 and 75 mph in short bursts covering distances up to 500 yards.

The cheetah can accelerate from 0-68 mph in 3 seconds

Faster than most sports cars

That’s fast, and our God created the cheetah

One of my favorite animals is the elephant

These massive creatures are a sight to see

The largest elephant ever recorded was shot in Angola in 1956

This male weighed about 26,000 lb with a shoulder height of 13.8 ft

And these massive beasts are not dumb giants

With their large 11 lb brains they display a wide variety of behaviors

Including grief, making music, art, play, use of tools, compassion, and self-awareness

All evidence of a high intelligence level

These mammals are very interesting and again created by our God

All these animals and the thousands more are all part of the works Thy hands have made

This hymn also has us look to the stars

Have you ever tried to count the stars?

It’s impossible, you cannot do it.

Look into the sky on a clear night, out of the glare of streetlights, and you will see a few thousand individual stars with your naked eyes.

With even a modest amateur telescope, millions more will come into view.

Astronomers estimate there are about 100 thousand million stars in the Milky Way alone.

Outside that, there are millions upon millions of other galaxies also!

Genesis 1:16 And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

Oh yeah, and He made the stars

Seems like an afterthought like it was no big deal

No big deal to God

But what a feat it was to create the billions of stars in the universe

These past few weeks we have experienced some amazing rainfall

And these rains have been accompanied by thunder and lightning

I love to watch storms, sit somewhere safe and view the lightning and listen to the thunder

You ever thought about how powerful the lightning is?

The leader of a bolt of lighting can travel at speeds of 60,000 meters/second

And can reach temperatures approaching 54,000° F

Wow that is some power

It was enough to send Marty McFly through time in Back to the Future

There are over 16 million lightning storms every year

And this lightning heats nearby air to about 18,000° F nearly instantly

This is almost twice the temp. of the Sun’s surface

This heating creates a shockwave that is heard as thunder

A mighty rolling thunder that registers at about 160 dB

10 x’s louder than a garbage truck or jackhammer

Its like sitting in front of speakers at a rock concert

It is capable of producing temporary deafness and may cause rupturing of the ear drum

That can lead to hearing damage or deafness

It can even cause property damage

Like popping drywall from the studs in your house

And breaking windows

Just from the concussion of thunder

And it can be heard over 10 miles away

His power throughout the universe displayed


Who controls this phenomenon?

Jesus Himself

Matthew 8:26-27 And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. [27] But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

Even the winds and the waves obey Him

How’s that all fit into the global warming consensus?

God is indeed in control

This makes my soul sing out

To my Savior, my God

How GREAT Thou Art

You are immeasurably great and powerful

We also see…

II. His Gentle Spirit

We experience peace and tranquility

“thru the woods and forest glades”

“hear the birds sing”

“look down from lofty mountain”

“hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze”

How Great Thou Art

You hold all this power and might in your hand

And yet you bless us with these gentle escapes

Nothing can be more relaxing than being in the deer woods

Quietly walking to that perfect spot before daylight

Taste of coffee and sausage biscuit still on your lips

You sit still, quietly listening for that sound of a deer tip toeing through the brush

And then it happens, seems like out of nowhere

It comes, before you even realize what’s happening to you

You , you fall asleep

Among the peacefulness of those woods you almost always doze off

The sweet song of harmony between the wind blowing through the trees, the quiet of the sunrise, the birds singing and the squirrels chirping you easily fall asleep

God’s almighty powerful hands have carved out this peaceful setting

With all the wondrous powerful things He has created

The expansive Grand Canyon, the thunderous Niagara Falls, the world-wide sprawling oceans

He took pleasure in creating tranquility for you and me

Genesis 2:8-10 And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed. [9] And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil. [10] And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

How Great Thou Art

Have you ever climbed a mountain? I haven’t but sounds fun

Here are some actual comments left on Forest Service registration sheets and comment cards by hikers completing wilderness camping trips

Escalators would help on the steep uphill sections

Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.

Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the area of these pests.

Chairlifts need to be in some places so that we can get to the wonderful views without having to hike to them.

Need more signs to keep the area pristine.

The places where trails do not exist are not well marked.

Too many rocks in the mountains.

I love Petit Jean State Park

Always go to the grave site/river valley/awesome view

I can’t help but think of God’s creative power as I stand in awe of His beautiful creation

It is a peaceful place, you can stand there and take in the view and praise the Lord for how great He is

You feel the gentle breeze on your face

You can take pictures for others , but you really have to see it for yourself

As you go further into the park, you can hike down to the Cedar Falls

As you hike closer to the falls, you follow the edge of the quietly flowing brook that flows from the base of the falls

And you can hear the falls thundering in the distance

God’s creation is awe-inspiring

Then sings my soul, How great Thou art

III. His Saving Son

Of all the things God created

His most treasured possession in man

The expanse of His universe

The amazing things here on earth

Earthquakes, volcanoes, creatures, from the ant – blue whale

The heavens, stars, planets, moons

He loves me most of all

He proved His love with His Son

“His Son not sparring”

“sent Him to die”

“I scarce can take it in”

I can’t even imagine why He did this for me

The sin of Cain, a murderer

The rampant sexual immorality of Sodom and Gomorrah

The hypocrisy of the Pharisees

The evils of today’s society, abortion, mass murders, pornography and abuse

All of these sins God sent His Son to the cross to bear to gladly bear

Not gladly as in oh goodie

But gladly as in willingly

God knew what pain the cross would be

Not only for His Son, but for Himself as well

Our sin causes God pain

And God the Father and God the Son willingly bore the pain of that cross

I scarce can take it in, that on the cross, my burden gladly bearing He bled and died to take away my sin

How Great THOU Art

Jesus takes away the sin of the world

As you think over your life and remember all the bad things you have done

The lies you have told, the horrible thoughts you have had for another person

As you fall victim to all the evils that is in the world

The lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life (I John 2:16)

You can’t help but remember how awful of a person you have been

And we all have done those things

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

But “he bled and died to take away my sin”

You ever punished a child, or been punished by having something taken away?

Grounded from the radio, IPOD, TV, internet, certain activity

Are those things really taken away?

No, because you eventually get them back

For something to be taken away it must be gone for good

Christ has taken our sin away

How far away?

Psalms 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

East and west can never meet

This is a symbolic portrayal of God’s forgiveness

When He forgives sin, He separates it from us and doesn’t even remember it

You may be able to remember your past sins, but God doesn’t

He has taken away my sin

Thou art truly great O Lord!

IV. His Acclamation and our Adoration

This final stanza has us looking forward to His return

To that day when the trumpet will sound

1 Corinthians 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

This trumpet will sound to herald the end of the church era

When all believers will be removed from the earth at the Rapture

With a heavenly shout

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Christ will return visibly, with a loud command

There will be an unmistakable cry from an angel

There will be a trumpet fanfare such as has never been heard before

Believers in Christ who are dead will rose from their graves

Believers who are alive will be caught up in the clouds to meet Christ


Christ will come with a shout of acclamation

Even so Lord, come quickly

As it says in 1 Thess. 4:17

And so shall we be with the Lord forever

This is were our adoration takes place

We will finally see the face of our Savior

See the face of God the Father

And we will bow in humble adoration

And proclaim face to face

My God, How great Thou art

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

God is great

His power and His might is more than we can fathom

His gentle Spirit brings us peace and tranquility

His saving Son brings us life eternal, and takes away all our sin

And His acclamation brings us home to an eternity of humble adoration of the great God we worship