February - The Love of God
Our hymn for this month is a jewel. It really sticks out in its story-like, descriptive form and poetically expresses God's vast love for us in great detail. I especially love the third verse. It gives a beautiful example of how feeble our efforts to describe the endless love of God really are!
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made;
Were ev’ry stalk on earth a quill,
And ev'ry 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.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure,
The saints’ and angels’ song.
About the Author
As you could probably guess, our author- Frederick M. Lehman- was born in Germany. When he was four, his family moved to America, where he remained for the rest of his life. Frederick accepted the Lord at the age of eleven and became a very joyful Christian. He also became quite the hymn-writer: he composed and published hundreds of his own songs, even putting together five song books!
Aside from hymn writing, Frederick served as a pastor in several churches throughout his life in Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri.
A Few Thoughts...
If you haven't read the third stanza, picturing the scene in your mind, go back and try it. Compare our love to God's. See the comparison? It's not even comparable!
Even though I would love to talk about the awesome imagery in the third verse, my highlight is on the second verse: "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." These lines of poetry bring out how ceaseless God's love really is. Even in the tribulation, when His wrath is poured out on men who rejected Him to His face, God will still save in love. Wow! Habakkuk the prophet begged the Lord in Habakkuk 3:2, "...In the midst of the years make known; In wrath remember mercy." God will show His measureless, strong love even in the world's darkest days!
By the way, the following link is to an excellent article- one I read as a source for the one you are reading now. It provides some background on the writing of this particular hymn, especially the third verse. If you have the time, give it a read. It is short but well worth the read.