“How Great Thou Art” composer knew the power of His creation
By Eugene Morton
Oh 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 power throughout the universe displayed.
The original composer of this great hymn, Carl Boberg, a Swedish preacher was inspired to pen these lyrics after being caught in a violent midday thunderstorm. After that experience, he fell to his knees in humble adoration of his mighty God and worshiped him for his tender mercies of deliverance. This man well knew the awesome power of his Creator.
The first stanza of this well-known hymn, in a minute way, sums up the beginning of God’s creation found in the first three chapters of Genesis. Here we see God the Father (verse 1), God the Holy Spirit moved upon the face of the waters (verse 2) and in John’s Gospel (John 1:1-3) we find God the Son Jesus Christ as the third person of the Trinity in creation. Colossians 2:12 teaches us that in Him (Jesus Christ) dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.
When one steps into the dark night and views the brilliant stars as if they were painted onto a black canvass, one cannot help but praise God for His creativity. And God speaking through the writer of Psalms 8:3 says the sun, moon, and the stars are merely the work of my fingers as if He did this without half trying.
When we think of the myriads of stars, of the vast distances in the universe, the power that holds our planetary system with exact precision, it really boggles the mind. For example, the earth in its revolution around the sun is traveling at 67,000 miles per hour while turning at 1,000 mph, and there is no possibility of anything going awry for the words in Colossians 1:17 denotes the Lord Jesus holds everything in perfect order.
And our God is so meticulous and caring that He counts the billions of stars that He made and each one has a name as stated in Psalms 147:4.
Have you ever stood on a beach looking out into the vastness of the ocean or the sea and wondered why all that water doesn’t just inundate the ground on which you stand? Well, Proverbs 8:29 reveals that God has commanded the waters not to pass from their appointed places by His decree. And the Lord says again in Job 38:8 “I put doors around the seas lest they come ashore and cover the land”.
Oh, storms occasionally break out and invade the land, but God says I am still in control of the weather. Lest we forget, He says in Psalms 107:23-29 that He is the one who raises up the stormy wind and waves, the hurricanes, and all-weather related phenomenon, and then tells them when to be calm.
Jesus revealed His control of nature to His disciples in Matthew 8:23-27 when a violent storm arose on the sea of Galilee while they were crossing. The terrified disciples cried to a sleeping Savior to awake and help them. Jesus rebuked the storm, and the violent wind and waves ceased immediately. They became more afraid of Jesus when they saw His power. What kind of man is this they fearfully asked each other? They still did not know the Creator and sustainer of the universe was riding in the boat with them. The Bible teaches the Lord controls every aspect of the weather, not that man-invented glory stealing “Mother Nature”.
And then there is man, God’s master creation made in His own image. As God’s representative on earth in Genesis 126, the man was given dominion over the earth as well as all living creatures of the air, water, and earth. But man lost his ruler ship to Satan in the Garden of Eden. Even Jesus in John14:30 referred to Satan as the Prince or Ruler of this world that Adam forfeited to him.
With ruler ship out of man’s hand now, dogs bark at us, snakes bite us, and other animals attack us on the land as well as the sea. And the writer in Hebrews 2:6-9 reminds us of the fact that mankind lost that authority God had given to us.
Though Adam lost his unqualified authority over creation, God’s original purpose still stands. He has decreed man shall yet regain and have his dominion over the earth because man’s failures never frustrate God’s plans.
Revelation 5:10 and 20:6 proclaims those who follow Christ shall be kings and priests and shall rule and reign with Him for a thousand years during the millennium on earth. So, man shall fulfill his original destiny.
The Lord Jesus has created such a majestic future for all to enjoy with Him eternally. That’s why He says in Revelation 3:20 “Behold I stand at the door (of our hearts) and knock. If anyone opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and you’ll be with me”. What a heavenly invitation!!!