Magnificat – A Study of Praise to our Great God

–This hymn study of How Great Thou Art is an excerpt from my latest Bible Study Magnificat Gracefully Truthful published on March 12, 2021

What is Magnificat?

Luke 1:46-56

Mary's Magnificat
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Magnificat is a general term meaning canticle or song, especially in praise. Specific to this passage, Mary’s Magnificat is given this title because it is her “song of praise to God.” The poem praises Him for His blessing to Mary and His faithfulness to Israel.

The Holman Bible Dictionary tells us that Magnificat (mag-nif’-i-kat) means “to magnify”, which gives us greater insight into why church historians have affixed the label “Magnificat” to this passage. The Greek word is used in the first line of Mary’s song, “My soul magnifies the Lord”.

This hymn is much like the song of another young woman in Israel’s history, Hannah, (1 Samuel 2) where we find her praising God for blessing her with a child. She continues pouring out her song of worship to God for His faithfulness to the people, Israel. Hannah’s poem of praise also begins, “My heart exults in the Lord…” [Study Light]

Both women begin by magnifying the Lord and then listing the wonderful deeds of our God; not just the blessings on themselves but for all blessings God has given since the beginning of time.

King David also does the same thing in the Psalms. One of my favorites is Psalm 136. The famous Magnificat was Mary’s response to her amazing situation

Carl Boburg’s Magnificat

As we study the great hymn of faith, How Great Thou Art, we learn this poem-turned-hymn was Mr. Carl Boburg’s “Magnificat”. Likewise, the psalmist implores us to “magnify the Lord with me. Let us exult His name together.” (Psalm 34:3, KJV). The Scriptures implore us many times to magnify the Lord.

I love it when we begin our corporate worship time together at church by reciting a psalm or singing hymns that praise God for Who He is. These types of calls to worship cause us to come together with singing and adoration for our great God.

Indeed, our worship services could be called a Magnificat, of sorts, where we come exulting the Lord together. However, this type of praise isn’t intended just as a Sunday kind of thing. I hope I find myself praising God aloud whenever He blesses my life with good things; indeed, even bursting into song over how much He does for this undeserving woman.

Yet, even if He never did another thing for me, I want to still choose to magnify His Name for what He did at Calvary by taking my shame and punishment for my sin upon Himself for me!

Mr. Carl Boberg, the writer of the hymn How Great Thou Art, had a back story to his profound Magnificat. According to the website, All About God, Boberg was a Swedish pastor, editor, and member of the Swedish parliament.

“Mr. Boberg was enjoying a nice walk when a thunderstorm suddenly appeared out of nowhere. After the storm was over, Mr. Boberg looked out over the clear bay and heard a church bell in the distance. And the words to How Great Thou Art began to form in his heart –

‘O Lord, my God, when I, in awesome wonder. . .’”

www.allaboutgod.com

Think of the peace he must have felt after that fierce storm to pen these beautiful words that still show us the glory of God today.

Our Own Magnificat

We, too, have a backstory to our own “Magnificat”. Let’s take the challenge and write our own Magnificat. Magnify the Lord with me! Place your praises in the comments section below. Try using Psalm 136 as a template for your song of praise.

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever.

(Psalm 34:3, American Standard Version)

NOTE: My study is the Digging Deeper portion following the journey study


Mandy’s Magnificat

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, for He is good;

His faithful love endures forever.

He paid the punishment for my sin before I was born.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He placed me in a Christian home.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He called me to Himself and saved me!

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He opened doors for a good education.

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

HE gave me a wonderful Christian husband.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He led and directed our 25 years of ministry

His Faithful Love endures forever.

He upheld us when friends betrayed us.

His faithful love endures forever.

He provided every need through the loss of job and home

His Faithful Love endures forever

He provided a great medical team when our health faltered

His Faithful Love Endures forever.

He is coming some day soon to call us home to Heaven.

His Faithful Love endures forever.

Listen ~ How Great Thou Art

Carrie UnderWood – How Great Thou Art

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