The Love of God
Oh, love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
The saints’ and angels’ song.
Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.
The love of God is, to me, so unfathomable.
I become overwhelmed with awe whenever I think of it. How God could love me, a sinner, enough to leave his throne in heaven, humble himself as a man, and die the cruel death of a criminal, just to conquer death and save me from that horrible death. It’s unfathomable.
This hymn is precious to me.
There are no better words to describe how I feel that have been laid out in this poetry. You must read this beautiful story from The Tan Bible of how this song was inspired into music from
Frederick M. Lehman, author and composer, wrote a pamphlet, in 1948, entitled History of the Song, The Love of God. It tells about the origin of this beloved hymn—
While at camp-meeting in a mid-western state, some fifty years ago in our early ministry, an evangelist climaxed his message by quoting the last stanza of this song. The profound depths of the line moved us to preserve the words for future generations.
Not until we had come to California did this urge find fulfillment, and that at a time when circumstances forced us to hard manual labor.
One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song.
Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity.
Actually, the key-stanza (third verse) under question as to its authorship was written nearly one thousand years ago by a Jewish songwriter, and put on the score page by F.M. Lehman, a Gentile songwriter, in 1917.
This hymn should never be lost to our hearts because it is thought to be antiquated.
I pray that you, too have experienced this merciful love of God. If not, click here to learn about finding it.
- hymn page was taken from my church hymnal, Sing to the Lord.
- ocean views by Kandy Chimento; modified by Mandy