A young minister’s two-mile walk in the rain provided the inspiration for “How Great Thou Art.” The Reverend Carl Boberg
of Monsteras, on the southeast coast of Sweden, was 25 years old when he wrote the lyrics of this song after trekking through a thunderstorm from a church meeting two miles away
This great hymn has a history that stretches back over a hundred years. The original song was written by a young Swedish
preacher, Carl Boberg, and first published in 1886, under the title O Store Gud. Boberg wrote a poem, not meaning to write a hymn, but later heard it being sung to an old Swedish tune.
More than forty years later, an English missionary, Stuart Hine, first heard the song in Russia. He and his young wife
were missionaries to the Carpathian area of Russia, then a part of Czechoslovakia. There, they heard a very meaningful hymn that was a Russian translation of Carl Boberg’s O Store Gud (O Great God).
While ministering in the Carpathian Mountains, Hine found himself in the midst of a threatening storm.
The thunder, as it rolled through the mountain range, was so awesome that it reminded Hine of the beautiful Russian hymn that had already become so dear to him. English verses began to form in his mind, verses that were suggested by portions of the Russian translation.
How Great Thou Art is probably
the all-time favorite hymn today. Although its origin had roots in Europe, it was not widely known until 1957, when the Billy Graham Crusade in New York City launched it on a never-ending spiral around the world. It was performed nearly a hundred times during those meetings and countless times ever since.
One cannot sing this majestic hymn of praise and adoration without realizing anew the omnipotence of the Creator who did it all.
O store Gud, när jag den värld beskådar,
Som du har skapat med ditt allmaktsord, Hur där din visdom leder livets trådar, Och alla väsen mättas vid ditt bord. Då brister
själen ut i lovsångsljud: O store Gud! O store Gud! Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud: O store Gud! O store Gud! När
sommarvinden susar över fälten, När blommor dofta invid källans rand, När trastar drilla i de gröna tälten, Vid furuskogens tysta, dunkla rand;
När jag i bibeln skådar alla under, Som Herren gjort se’n förste Adams tid, Hur nådefull Han varit alla stunder, Och hjälpt sitt folk
ur livets synd och strid; När slutligt alla tidens höljen falla, Uti åskådning byter sig min tro, Och evighetens klara klockor kalla, Min
frälsta ande till dess sabbatsro; Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud: Tack store Gud! Tack store Gud! Då brister själen ut i lovsångsljud:
Tack store Gud! Tack store Gud!