The Love of God ~ Hymn

The Love of God

The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

Refrain

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Refrain

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.

Refrain

ht: Cyberhymnal

Words: Fred­er­ick M. Leh­man; he wrote this song in 1917 in Pas­a­de­na, Cal­i­fornia, and it was pub­lished in Songs That Are Dif­fer­ent, Vol­ume 2, 1919. The lyr­ics are based on the Jew­ish poem Had­da­mut, writ­ten in Ara­ma­ic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Ne­hor­ai, a can­tor in Worms, Ger­ma­ny; they have been trans­lat­ed in­to at least 18 lang­uages.

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 af­ter he had been car­ried to his grave, the gen­er­al opin­ion was that this in­mate had writ­ten the epic in mo­ments of san­ity.

Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948

19 thoughts on “The Love of God ~ Hymn

  1. That song was always a joy to sing….makes me wonder how often I have sung it as a solo, duet, trio, quartet or choir.
    It was very popular when I was in Bible College and is one I used of often play on the piano.
    It shall endure for ever more, the saints and angels song.

  2. Good morning, Ellen! Thanks for the hymn for this week – another favorite of mine, but like many hymns, I know the tune and not all the words.

    Have a blessed Sunday.

    I trust that you enjoyed the wedding yesterday! :)

  3. Good morning Ellen,
    Another beautiful hymn that I’ve never heard. I think the last stanza are some of the most gorgeous words ever penned. I know you didn’t write them but would you mind if I posted them on my blog too?
    Have a Sunday filled with many blessings. :) Cori

    Cori, I don’t mind at all…post away! :0)

  4. I never sing or read the words of this hymn without thinking of my sister who sang this as a solo many times when we were much younger. The history of how it was written is a wonderful story.

  5. How rich and pure how measureless and strong!
    Words so powerful but still don’t capture the Love God has for his children. It is unfathomable.

    Praise God. He loves us!

  6. Wow is all I can say this was sent to me in a e-mail
    from one of my family and now I know why she likes it so much all of you out there have a blessed Thanksgiving

    Rebekah

  7. Hello all!
    I am on a quest to build a great library of recorded hymns and am having trouble finding some sung simply and reverently by vocal ensemble or choir simply accompanied (I don’t like hymns put to a beat with drums etc). If you know of COMPLETE versions with ALL verses sung of these hymns PLEASE contact me with information of where I can purchase them and any links or site.
    They are:
    ‘It Is Well With My Soul” (all 4 verses! please)
    “The Love Of God” (complete)
    “Break Thou The Bread Of Life”
    “Lead Me To Calvary” (complete)
    “Take Time To Be Holy”
    “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”
    “I Am Bound For The Promised Land”
    “The Way Of The Cross Leads Home”

    Thanks for any help

  8. It’s a beautiful hymn. The third verse is also associated with a verse in the Muslim holy book, the Quran:

    “If all the trees on earth were pens, and the ocean were ink, replenished by seven more oceans, the writing of God’s wonderful signs and creations would not be exhausted; surely God is Mighty Wise. ” (Quran 37:27)

  9. Hello! Thanks for the history of that hymn. I go to a Creole Church, and This is one Of our Favorite song to sing. Specially for the last verse. Thanks again and May God bless you.

  10. I heard a story on Christian radio today which aroused my curiosity about this hymn. The story was different from what I’ve been able to find. The story said that Mr. Lehman had written ths song, The Love of God, but only had two verses, and at the time three verses were required to make it a “hymn.” The story went on that Mr. Lehman was seeking the Lord for a third verse when he heard the poem that was written by a Jewish man a thousand years ago. The words fit his song and it was added – a wonderful third verse. Now, I’m wondering which story is correct. I’m going to keep searching.

    Blessings,
    Janie

  11. One hymnal I have, Spiritual Songs and Hymns, E. V. Publishing House, Nappanee, Indiana, 1935, includes another stanza:
    The dying thief rejoiced to find a pardon and a paradise;
    And from the sick and halt and blind, his praise re-echoed to the skies.
    O love divine, this tongue of mine, His praises shall proclaim;
    And o’er and o’er on yonder shore, Give glory to his name.
    I suppose it’s been omitted from most hymnals because it is a bit more pithy than the others. I can remember singing this great hymn more than 65 years ago.

  12. This beloved gospel hymn has its roots in a Jewish poem, written in Germany in the eleventh century. The Jewish poem, Hadamut, in the Aramaic language, has ninety couplets. The poem is in form of an acrostic, with the author’s name woven into the concluding verses. It was composed, in the year 1096, by Rabbi Mayer, son of Isaac Nehorai, who was a cantor in the city of Worms, Germany. One section of this poem, from which the present third stanza of “The Love of God” was evidently adapted, reads as follows:

    Were the sky of parchment made,
    A quill each reed, each twig and blade,
    Could we with ink the oceans fill,
    Were every man a scribe of skill,
    The marvelous story
    Of God’s great glory
    Would still remain untold;
    For He, most high
    The earth and sky
    Created alone of old.

  13. a grear hymn with powerful meaning. As a teenager in my church choir we often sang , the love of God. because of the music and Love within the hymn ..

  14. I thank God for this song. I first learnt it in 1969 and had it written down but could not locate till today that I did a web search. Thank you for the history and the preservation of it. I love to sing it every day of my life.

  15. Pingback: James 1:5 | Finding Sophia

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