The love of God is greater far

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.
  O love of God, how rich and pure!
  How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
2
When hoary 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 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.
56
Martha Lunda

Blantyre, Malawi

The first time I heard about this song was in the late 80s from my late sister who was in a boarding school and would sing it for us when she back on school holidays. I never new the song words but I could understand it is all about "how great the love of God is". Now that I know the words, which are singing to my soul, especially the first verse ......O love of God, how rich and pure! How measureless and strong!

It shall forevermore endure—

I CAN SING IT ALL DAY!


Petunia

Mafikeng, Northwest, South Africa

The song really moves me. My friends and I were singing this song at church, an it really moved the congregation. Wow, the song really touches you.


Homer R Shaffer

Massillon, Ohio, United States

No other way to be near to our "GOD" then the way he gave..."JESUS" . He sends us to heal.


Brian E Jones

Gloucester, England, United Kingdom

I can still remember hearing George Beverly Shea sing this great spiritual song. This dear man was called home to be with the Lord he loved last year (2013) at the age of 104 and now knows the love of of God in all its fullness! 'Could we with ink the ocean fill or were the skies of parchment made......'


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Probably the most heartening letter I have received recently came from a young mother who lives behind the Iron Curtain. Her son is a voice student and wanted to sing gospel music, but they wrote me that none was available in their country. I sent a couple of records that got through. When the boy told his teacher that he wanted to sing gospel music, she didn't know what he meant. The mother wrote:

"Then, God gives to Eddie's mind to ask her if she has grammaphone, he will bring her some records that she can know which kind of songs he wish to learn. She knows English and German language. When she heard this records, she was so happy she was playing all day during nearly one month. They liked "The Love of God" so much they translated it and then are singing so loud that the windows was trembling. Can you imagine what great courage she has singing this Christians songs by opened window? Her house is on main street and everyone who passes hear the beautiful song. Eddie says she was jumping on her chair from happiness, playing piano and singing, telling: wonderful, wonderful."

I include these letter excerpts not because they reflect kindly on the singer, but that they testify again to the timeless power of gospel music and hymns to reach people and change lives. - George Beverly Shea in "Songs that Lift the Heart"


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

Speaking of Frederick M. Lehman's great hymn "The Love of God" reminds me of something I learned about it not long ago. Rumor had it that the 3rd verse lyrics were found on the walls of a [mental] institution about the time this popular hymn was written in 1917. Though this could be true, the roots of it go back to the 11th century, at least, and maybe further. According to my information, a modern-day translation of the verse was made by Rabbi Joseph Marcus from the Aramaic. A close approximation of the verse is used one day each year in the Jewish observance of Shavuot (Festival of Weeks) [or Pentecost] which begins 7 weeks after Passover.

But without Mrs. Lehman there would be no song. Like Mother's habit of placing poems and notes on the piano for me, Frederick Lehman's wife put such findings in her husband's lunch pail. Mr. Lehman was a minister, but because most of his churches were small and could pay him little, he worked at various jobs to support his family. One of these jobs was in a cheese factory, and it was there that Mr. Lehman got his inspiration for "The Love of God." His wife had come into possession of a poem which began, "Could we with ink the ocean fill ... ." She put a copy of it in Frederick's lunch pail. He was so moved by the words that he came home that night and worked on a tune to go with them. Later, he wrote 2 other verses and thus was born another great gospel hymn.

Whatever the 3rd verse's origin it is good to know that Christians and Jews share in the sentiments expressed in these great words of praise to God. - George Beverly Shea in "Songs that Lift the Heart"


Caroline

Luton, Bedfordshire, United Kingdom

Verse 3 brings me to tears every time. The song writer's expression of the magnitude of God's love is put in a most fitting way and beautifully described. We just can not run out of words when we describe the love of God.


Christian Chukwueke

Stratford, East London, United Kingdom

I love this song, the words are so deep and rich. The Love of God is far more than men can imagine or comprehend. He Loved us even while we were yet sinners. In times of happiness, sorrow, joy, when tempted, rejected, ridiculed, or even abandoned, JESUS still loves us.


Tom

Its meaning is not "on earth" but in heaven. The love of God is strong enough to be worthy of all praise for eternity! Hallelujah!


S. Golden

But what on earth does the last line of the chorus mean? The love of God has to endure the singing of the saints and angels?