This session was focused on God’s greatness; we discussed the hymn How Great Thou Art (Hine, 1949) and the song How Great is Our God (Tomlin, 2004), which both focus on God’s power and unrivaled greatness.
All the lyrics and questions are found in the booklet but you can get the questions in PDF form HERE!
Carl Boberg, a sailor turned minister, was inspired through the calmness which followed a thunderstorm to write the poem “O Great God”. After initially seemingly making no impact, it was later linked with a melody before Stuart Hine heard the song in Russian and translated it to English, adjusted the melody and added a few verses of his own (Soroski, 2016).
Home Free – How Great Thou Art
Chris Tomlin – How Great is Our God
Whilst the songs share similar themes, we explored how in How Great Thou Art (Hine, 1949) the chorus is very personal; it emphasises our personal worship of God. In Tomlin’s (2004) How Great is Our God, the chorus is much more focused on encouraging others to see how great God really is and to worship Him too.
When writing How Great is Our God, Tomlin (2004) was inspired by Psalm 104 which describes God’s greatness in detail; it explains how God can clothe Himself with light, make the clouds His chariot, control the oceans, create and take life, provide for His creation, and control time, to pick out just some of the things. This lets us know that He is most certainly in control of everything; and whilst we may worry about tomorrow, God knows and has planned what’s going to happen already.
In his letter to those Nebuchadnezzar has taken into exile, Jeremiah passes on what God has told him to share with them; which is that God is still in control and caring for them even when they seem so far away:
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
- Bible (n.d.) NIV Bible. Bible Gateway [online]. Available at: https://www.biblegateway.com (Accessed: 7 November 2016).
- Hine S. (1949) How Great Thou Art
- Soroski, J. (2016) The story you don’t know behind ‘How great thou Art’. Crosswalk.com [online]. Available at: http://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/the-story-you-don-t-know-behind-how-great-thou-art.html (Accessed: 5 February 2017).
- Tomlin C. (2004) How Great is Our God