The story behind the love of God hymn lyrics is one of the most interesting and touching stories we have come to expect from some of our famous old hymns.
At the age of four, his family emigrated to the United States of America. They settled in Iowa where Frederick M. Lehman spent most of his life. 1917 in California.
As is the case with most of my beloved hymns, this hymn came after a challenging time in the life of the author. He had just lost his business after some of his business deals had gone sour. It is from this incident that we find Mr. Lehman ended up packing oranges and lemons on a farm.
It is reported that during this time he attended a church service where he heard a powerful sermon on the love of God that touched him deeply. I am sure that you my brother or sister, have at least had one such experience.
Only those that have gone through a similar experience can understand what it means to spend the whole night contemplating a powerful gospel message that you heard that day. This is what happened to the author when he returned home from church. The message of the love of God kept ringing in his head that he could not sleep.
When he returned to continue packing oranges in containers the following day, he decided as a musician to write a song based on this sermon he had heard. We are told that he wrote the lyrics on crates and scrap paper.
He used anything he could write on to write the lyrics of this beautiful hymn. It was that important to the author that he had to write this song by any means.
But a song is incomplete until you have a melody. Lyrics on their own are nothing. In Mr. Lehman’s case he produced the melody when he returned home that day. He produced the melody by playing with his piano as is the case with most composers who are piano players.
Within a brief period, he had produced two verses. While nowadays it is all right to have songs with just two verses, in those days a song was considered incomplete until it had at least three verses. This meant that Mr. Lehman had to produce at least one more verse to complete the song.
It was at this time that he remembered a poem that had been written by a prisoner on prison walls two hundred years before. Since the poem was found after the prisoner had died, we don’t know the circumstances that led this prisoner to author this poem.
And we cannot say for certain if he was the one who composed this poem either. He could have heard or seen this poem somewhere else and decided to write it on the prison walls.
Whatever the circumstances that lead to this poem being scribbled on prison walls, we thank God for the powerful message in this poem. By the way, I need to add that this poem was found by painters who were repainting the dead prisoner’s cell. Before they painted over the poem, one of the painters jotted it down.
Mr. Lehman reviewed the words of this prisoner’s poem and by God’s grace it fitted his melody. And it formed the third verse of this hymn.
For other powerful story and lyrics visit,
The Love of God Lyrics by Frederick M Lehman
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 wand’ring child is reconciled
by God’s beloved Son.
The aching soul again made whole,
and priceless pardon won.
O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure—
the saints’ and angels’ song.
2 When ancient time shall pass away,
and human thrones and kingdoms fall;
when those who here refuse to pray
on rocks and hills and mountains call;
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
all measureless and strong;
grace will resound the whole earth round—
the saints’ and angels’ song. [Refrain]
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’ryone 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]