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
“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?
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.  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.  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.  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
WHAT JOY WILL FILL MY HEART
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