In the late 1880’s, a Swedish preacher was walking home from his office when he was caught in a violent thunderstorm. The rains came crashing down, the wind picked up, and he thought his life was surely over.
Then, just as quickly as the storm sprang up, it was over.
The heavens opened up, the sky returned to a bright blue color, and the birds filled the air with sweet music.
In recognition of this contrast, he penned the words to a poem called O Store Gud. Several translations and a few bars of music later, and it was entitled “How Great Thou Art.”
I Sing the Mighty Power of God
We sing this song regularly in our assembly, but what do we really mean? When we talk about His power, what are we really communicating?
Most would be quick to point out His awesome strength displayed through nature. As Paul wrote to the church in Rome: “Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood from His workmanship, so that men are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
Others will point to the Cross, which shows how He demonstrated His power in conquering death and sin to give us the gift of life.
Both of those are accurate, but have you ever considered that the power of God can just as clearly be seen from what He doesn’t do?
Consider the Cross again. Though the world sees a Man broken and betrayed, Jesus Himself resists all calls to avoid the cross. He even tells Peter to “put away the sword,” saying that, if He wanted, He could appeal to His Father, who would “at once put at [Jesus’] disposal more than twelve legions of angels.” (Matthew 26:53)
He didn’t, as we know, because of His love.
According to Solomon, the ability to withhold yourself from impulsive action and command your spirit is the greatest strength of all.
“One who is slow to anger is better than the mighty,
And one who rules his spirit, than one who captures a city.” (Proverbs 16:32)
God’s greatness can be shown in a myriad of different ways, but perhaps the greatest is in what He chose not to do.
How Does David Describe God’s Word in Psalm 19?
Creation is powerful, but in Psalm 19, David describes God’s Word as being just as strong. In fact, he encourages the reader to study it to get a greater appreciation for the sheer might of Jehovah.
The first few verses of Psalm 19 go into detail about
Psalm 19:7-11 is one of the most beautiful passages that describe God’s Word (its sister psalm, Psalm 119, is another). Here, David describes the Word itself as perfect, sure, right, pure, clean, and true.
Then, he talks about its effect on the heart. It’s sure, and makes wise the simple. It’s clean, and endures forever.
By putting these two ideas side-by-side — creation and God’s Word — David creates a two-fold testimony of the power of God. If you don’t see His power by creation, dive into His word (or vice versa).
Ideally, you’ll use both.
What Happens When We Think About Why God is So Great
When we consider God’s handiwork, it should cause us to do one thing: reflect. We can reflect on His majesty, we can reflect on His power, but most importantly, we should reflect on our relationship with Him.
In reality, there is no comparison. He is Jehovah, we are humans, and we need to remember our place in this world.
In Psalm 19:13, David asks God to keep him from “presumptuousness,” which is the “great transgression.”
Why is it the “great transgression”? Because when we think more highly of ourselves than we ought, it forces God out of the picture. There’s no room for God’s greatness when we’re too busy pondering our own.
Songs like How Great Thou Art remind us of this fact. No matter how often we consider God’s greatness, we should always take a few moments to reflect on ourselves in comparison to Him.
Last modified: December 27, 2021
Once we do, everything falls neatly into place.