Carl Gustav Boberg penned the lyrics to “O Store Gud” (O Great God) in 1885. This song was later translated into English as the beloved hymn, “How Great Thou Art.” The opening stanza proclaims the wonders of God’s creation.
“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.”
In 1885, astronomy was a well-developed field of study. The Congressional Record of 1886 reported that scientists had counted nearly 300,000 stars, 476 new nebulae had been discovered, Andromeda had been identified as a massive spiral nebula, and the Milky Way was thought to be the only galaxy. About 40 years later, Edwin Hubble discovered that Andromeda is actually a galaxy and that the Milky Way is one of many galaxies. One hundred years after Boberg composed his tribute to God’s amazing creation, Carl Sagan postulated the existence of billions and billions of galaxies. His estimate was too low by a factor of more than 117 times according to the newest estimations that between 6 and 20 trillion galaxies exist.
I read this new estimate yesterday online. I was astonished by the arrogance of the author to attribute this amazing and ever-expanding Universe to the Big Bang. He even stated that the Big Bang occurred 13.8 million years ago. He did acknowledge that the Universe is infinite and that it is impossible to accurately estimate how large it is, but he failed to mention our Creator at all.
In 1885, Carl Boberg’s comprehension of the size of the Universe was a fraction of what astronomers have observed it to be today. Yet, Boberg was awed by the amazing God who created the Universe. He worshiped the God of creation and wrote powerful lyrics that should remind each of us that God created the world and all that is in it.
As you look at the stars or at nature, ponder the wonder of our Creator who created an infinite number of galaxies and an infinite variety of plant and animal life. In the first chapter of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul warned that no person has an excuse for failing to recognize the existence of God. He wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)
Paul goes on to say that those who fail to honor and glorify God think that they are wise, but they have actually become fools. “Because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.” (Romans 1: 21 – 23)
Paul’s words echo those of the psalmist David, who wrote, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1
Open your eyes to the beautiful and wonder of creation, and open your hearts to our wonderful Creator who loves you so much that He desires to have a personal relationship with you.