Saturday, September 19, 2009

TSMSS - The Love of God

The first time I heard this song, I was either in elementary or junior high school, and I have loved it ever since. The story behind it is incredible.

The last verse is from the poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in the year 1050 by a Jewish cantor in Germany named Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai. In 1917, Frederick Martin Lehman was so overcome by a sermon on God's love that he began penning a song in his idle times at work. While the first two verses and chorus came easily, and he composed the melody the same day, he struggled to write a third verse. He remembered the poem from an old camp meeting that he had saved as a bookmark. Upon finding it, he was stunned to discover the words fit his melody perfectly. Additionally, small print below the poem indicated that the verse had been found translated and scratched on the wall of an insane asylum after a patient's death. Frederick Lehman's daughter, Claudia Faustina Lehman Mays, arranged the music, and the song was published in 1919. It has since been translated into almost 20 languages.

Source: HIMknowledge Ministry

Of course, when we as believers think of God's love, our mind immediately goes to the cross. (But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8) But look below at that last verse and realize it was written by one who presumably was still awaiting the Messiah.

"I have loved you with an everlasting love;
I have drawn you with loving-kindness."

Jeremiah 31:3

"When Israel was a child, I loved him,
and out of Egypt I called my son."

Hosea 11:1

How much more should we, the New Testament Church, be overcome by His love?!

And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:17-19


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.

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.


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.


WORDS: Frederick Martin Lehman (vv. 1-2, Refrain) & Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai (v. 3)
MUSIC: Frederick Martin Lehman & Claudia Faustina Lehman Mays

You'll find more songs to bless your weekend at Amy's.


View blog reactions


MsRay said...

We are blessed that we have a God who loves us unceasingly.

Thank you for sharing with us this very beautiful song.

Anonymous said...

Wow - such a blessing... thank you for the history on it too :) Happy weekend!

Peggy said...

I love this verse:

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.

Thanks for sharing.

LivingforGod said...

What a beautiful song! Thanks for sharing the video and the history behind the song.

quilly said...

What a wonderful song! This is my first time hearing it. I certainly hope it is not my last!

Debbie Petras said...

I don't think I've ever heard this song Linda. Thank you for sharing it and including the lyrics and background.

Lisa notes... said...

A man from church brought this song to our attention a few months ago, including the story. How powerful! Thanks for sharing it today. This is the prettiest version I've heard.

Karen said...

I love learning the stories and inspirations behind the classic hymns...this was a great version!

Cathy said...

Such a beautiful hymn and video, Linda ~ And thanks for the history about it.

Laura Hoekstra-Bettig said...

This hymn is one of my favorites, too! Nice meeting you today...I've not been to your "place" before.



annies home said...

great song, one of my favorites, never knew the history behind it before though thanks for sharing

Cathy said...

I love this song! Hubby and I were just talking about the love of God and how do you tell a non-Christian about it and make them understand. But this song definitely tells the truth, it is measureless and strong! The whole song is awesome, but I love that 3rd verse best.

Erica said...

Thank you for sharing this beautiful song! I've never heard it before. God's love is unending!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I've never heard this one....just beautiful. It gave me chills as I read the words...


Kim said...

Every time I hear/read this song, I think of my dad. He used to sing this at our church when I was growing up, and he could never get through it without crying. I wondered why until I got older and learned the story of him losing his first wife to cancer and the mighty ways God worked throughout the entire situation to bring him to my mom.

My dad is a very special man who knows the truth of these words, and this song always reminds me of him and his amazing faith and the legacy he has left to his family. Thanks for this!

Xandra@Heart-of-Service said...

I thought of you last night, because we sang this one around the piano. My grandmother requested it, and as we sang I realized that I did remember it after all. The words are so moving that it brought tears to my eyes...