…a series on words/phrases from old hymns to encourage and enrich.
“The Love of God”
is a beautiful word picture of how vast and great His love is for us!
The verse below – which is the one I want to focus on – was written by a Jewish Rabbi, Meir Ben Issac Mehoria, around the year 1000 in a poem titled “Hadamut”.
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 melody, along with the first and second verses and the chorus of this song were written by Frederick M Lehman in 1917. He was a California businessman who, after losing everything through business reverses, found himself doing manual labor to make enough money to feed himself. He was inspired to write a song about the love of God after a particularly moving sermon. However, he was unable to come up with words for more than two verses, and in those days, you simply didn’t write a hymn that had less than three verses. That sounds very odd to us now – but, that is how it was. One evening he remembered a poem someone had given him which he had used as a bookmark. Lehman went to the piano and began to voice the words with the melody he had just written. The words and melody fit together perfectly and soon the song was published.
This last verse has always been my favorite. Rabbi Mehoria so graphically and beautifully painted a picture of God’s love in words. There really isn’t anything I can write that will add to these words for they say it ALL!
Take a few minutes out of your busy day and re-read this verse slowly, visualizing each line. I pray that these word pictures will change your day and perhaps your life as you truly understand how much God loves YOU!