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Then Sings My Soul

Posted By Jeremy Rathbone On Tuesday, August 28, 2018

​Then Sings My Soul…

Sweden has contributed two major gifts to the music world.  Can you guess what they are?

First, in 1976 (the year I was born), ABBA released “Dancing Queen” and the world will never be the same.  Second, in 1885 Carl Boberg wrote a poem called “O Store Gud” which would later be transformed into one of the greatest hymns of all time, “How Great Thou Art.”

According to Boberg's great-nephew, Bud Boberg, "My dad's story of its origin was that it was a paraphrase of Psalm 8 and was used in the 'underground church' in Sweden in the late 1800s when the Baptists and Mission Friends were persecuted." The author, Carl Boberg, gave the following information about the inspiration behind his poem:

It was that time of year when everything seemed to be in its richest coloring; the birds were singing in trees everywhere. It was very warm; a thunderstorm appeared on the horizon and soon there was thunder and lightning. We had to hurry to shelter. But the storm was soon over and the clear sky appeared.

When I came home I opened my window toward the sea. There evidently had been a funeral and the bells were playing the tune of, "When eternity's clock calls my saved soul to its Sabbath rest". That evening, I wrote the song, "O Store Gud."

After being translated in German, into Russian, and then into the archaic English which might, in fact, be part of its appeal, the hymn quickly proved popular with British missionaries who spread it into their areas of evangelism. Billy Graham and his musical director, George Beverly Shea, picked it up on a visit to London.  They played it a few times, but the hymn became a huge hit when it was sung at a Graham Crusade in New York’s Madison Square Garden in 1957.  Thereafter it was a huge musical highpoint of all crusade events.

Psalm 8

A psalm of David.

1 Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

    in the heavens.

2 Through the praise of children and infants

    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

    to silence the foe and the avenger.

3 When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,

4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?

5 You have made them a little lower than the angels

    and crowned them with glory and honor.

6 You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

    you put everything under their feet:

7 all flocks and herds,

    and the animals of the wild,

8 the birds in the sky,

    and the fish in the sea,

    all that swim the paths of the seas.

9 Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

This is all about being in total awe of God.  Why do I not stop my busy life and take more time to be in awe of our great God?  

Verse #1

O 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

Think about the last time you were able to sit and enjoy an amazing starry night.  Endless stars and wonder.  Our God created all this, and us.  Have you ever been in a real thunderstorm?  How humble and small do you feel when the powerful clap of this phenomenon completely fills the air?  This is His power that is displayed in the universe, the universe that He created.  This God cares more about you and me than one could ever imagine.  The God of the universe loves us!

Verse #2

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 see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze

Do I stop and gaze and soak in all this beauty?  This beauty, gentleness and calmness, only our all-powerful and loving God can provide.  He provides this for us when we need it the most, most effectively after a storm.  Unfortunately, we have diluted the word awesome in our language which would best describe this portion of love that He shows us, His kids.  

Verse #3

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

In verse three we start getting to the bare knuckles of this amazing love.  Sacrificing your only son?  All this was done for you and me?? The author describes this and he can hardly take it.  Overwhelmed by this grace, mercy and undeserving love he goes on to describe the weight of this act.  This God loves us, and yet I don’t take nearly enough time to let my knees buckle in all this glory.

Verse #4

When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation

And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart

Then I shall bow, in humble adoration

And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"

How else can this amazing God show us His amazing love?  He shows us through the promise of the ultimate victory that we can only find in Jesus Christ.  What is my response to this plethora of awesomeness?  God gives me all this for free of charge just for believing, loving and accepting Him?  What should I do then?

My soul should cry out! …and then?

Well, then sings my soul.  Then sings everything that is in my being.  My soul, the very part of me that God made immortal.  This isn’t necessarily a vocal singing.  This goes deeper than that.  When my soul is truly in tune with these acts of love, it should force my physical body to stop, stand, kneel, cry, laugh, cheer and ultimately sing out, “MY GOD, HOW GREAT THOU ART!”  

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