Hymn Challenge #3: How Great Thou Art
Written by: Stuart K. Hine
b. 1899 (England); d. 1989
In 1885, a Swedish preacher by the name of Carl Boberg wrote a poem called "O Store Gud" which means "Oh Great God." Carl Boberg wrote the poem and never thought of it becoming a hymn. He did not write any music to his poem; it was just a poem.
Then in the 1920's, English missionaries, Stuart K. Hine and his wife were ministering in Poland. While they were there, they learned of Boberg's poem and it had been coupled with a Swedish melody. Later with the inspiration from Boberg's poem and the Swedish melody, Stuart Hine composed his own original verses and made his own arrangement of the tune which we now know as "How Great Thou Art."
Mr. Hine wrote the first three verses after his experiences in the Carpathian Mountains. He experienced a storm with mighty thunder, saw the forest glades as he walked through the woods, and heard the birds singing sweetly in the trees (Verse 2). While going through the mountains, he also meditated on John 3 thus we see in Verse 3 how he is awe inspired that God would send His Son to die for him! The 4th verse was not written until he returned England. When you see this hymn in a hymnal you will see both the names Carl Boberg and Stuart K. Hine. For a more in-depth study of the history of "How Great Thou Art," please click here.
Several times this week I tried to work on this post focusing on another hymn but each time, I was taken back to this hymn (How Great Thou Art). Then Tuesday night as I entered the sanctuary for our weekly study at Bible Study Fellowship, I am sure you can guess which hymn we sang first--yes, "How Great Thou Art." I almost started laughing because I felt God had a sense of humor to show me again that I was to share this hymn this week. So, listening to His prompting, I left the other study because I knew God wanted us to take time and focus on Him this week.
"How Great Thou Art" beautifully states who God is and our response to Him. As you read the verses in this hymn, I love how we can see the progression of who God is. Let's look at Verses 1 and 2, and remember where Mr. Hine was as he wrote them.
O Lord my God,
When I in awesome wonder
The world Thy Hand hath made,
I see the stars,
I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy pow'r throughout
The universe displayed;
When through the woods
And forest glades I wander
I 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;
Do you look at creation around you like that? Do you see God's hand in it all and see Him as Creator of all things? Do you see His power and majesty? If you missed my study back in 2009 on God as Creator, feel free to read it here. There is an amazing video in that post that I still love! Anyway, God's word shows us in so many places that He is all-powerful, He is creator, and that He alone is to receive all glory, honor, and praise!
Psalm 68:34 "Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies."
Jeremiah 10:12 "But God made the earth by His power; He founded the world by His wisdom and stretched out the heavens by His understanding."
Revelation 4:11 "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being."
Then in Verse 3, we see how He sent His Son to die for our sins, and for those of us that believe in Him, we will have eternal life!
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.
He loves us; we are His creation. He loves us SO much that He didn't even spare His own Son! His Son died for my sins, your sins, and for every person on this earth so that we can spend eterinty with Him! But as our Creator, we must accept the gift or we will miss out on eternal life with Him.
John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:18 "Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son."
1 John 4:9-10 "This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
1 John 4:14-15 "And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God."
Then in the 4th and final verse, we see the promise of His return. As Christians we are filled with hope as we are certain of His return and certain of our salvation. Can you say that you are filled with hope at the thought of His return? Can you say that you have been saved by the blood of Christ? It is all truly hard to fathom but by faith in Him we can completely trust in His Word!
When Christ shall come,
With shouts 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!
Psalm 145:3 "Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; His greatness no one can fathom."
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 "For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words."
Below you will find the sheet music to "How Great Thou Art." Make sure you look at the link I have included for you below the hymn.
For my 5x7 page today, I used Psalm 47:2 which says "How awesome is the LORD Most High, the great King over all the earth!" The stamped verse comes from the ODBD set called Scripture Collection 3. I thought it was a great reminder to focus on Him who is King and Creator of all. For the doily at the bottom of my page, I used my recycled chipboard (see this post from last Tuesday) along with a Tim Holtz die to cut the doily. I used purple on my page to designate His majesty.
Papers: Memory Box Frond, Paper Trey Ink cs
Stamps: Our Daily Bread Designs Scripture Collection 3
Stamp Ink: Tim Holtz Distress Ink dusty concord
Embellishments: Tim Holtz Distress Stain antique linen, Tim Holtz distressed doily die, Copic V17 to color rhinestones, Kaisercraft rhinestones, Zva Creative pearls, Hug Snug hand-dyed seam binding, flower from Wild Orchid Crafts, sewing machine
Also, I have two things for you this week. First, I found a channel on YouTube called "BestLovedHymns." They have many old hymns available for you to listen to. You might want to check them out. Click here to see their channel.
And second, my dear online friend, Abby (a pianist for her church), is going to be sharing free hymn printables. You will definitely want to subscribe to her Pinterest or blog so you can get printable hymns.
Remember to use Keyword HSCRC12 when posting your creations in any online galleries. Also, please leave a link to your creation here using Inlinkz! To see all of the information regarding this challenge and the previous study, please see this post here.
And lastly, I will close today with this scripture written by Paul to the Thessalonians:
1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 "May God Himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The One who calls you is faithful and He will do it."
Blessings to each of you!