Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:39) Nothing – absolutely nothing – can separate us from the love of God! Amen and amen! I look at pictures of the Grand Canyon and see its depth and height and width – this is how I can bury this verse deep in the soil of my heart! Looking at this picture gives a whole new meaning to the vastness of God’s love and the emphasis His Word has on this love and how He never leaves us! Praise the Lord! If this does not bless you today, your blesser is broken!
Today’s hymn is about the love of God and its intensity. What a wonderful topic to cover, isn’t it? How can one be depressed or discouraged when there is a God that loves us like this and to this extreme? This type of hymn helps us to encourage ourselves – it encourages us to dig into the Word and be blessed beyond measure! Frederick M. Lehman is the author of these beautiful words! He was born on August 7, 1868 in Mecklenburg, Germany and died February 20, 1953 in Pasadena, California.
His family came to the U.S. when he was four. He grew up in Iowa and was saved at the young age of 11. It was the beauty of nature that brought him to Christ while he was out walking one morning. When I read this, it reminded me of Paul’s words in Romans 1:20: For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: God can reveal Himself even to a child through His beautiful creation! Their tender hearts are so open to receive Christ.
Although Lehman pastored at Audubon, Iowa; New London, Indiana; and Kansas City, Missouri, he spent most of his life writing hymns. His first one was written in 1898 when he was a pastor in Kingsley, Iowa. He moved to Kansas City and assisted in founding the Nazarene Publishing House.
Today’s hymn was written in 1917 and published in 1919 in Volume 2 of “Songs That Are Different.” I’ll say his song is different! Cyberhymnal had this tidbit that simply amazed me:
The lyrics are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut, written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, Germany; they have been translated into at least 18 languages. One day, during short intervals of inattention to our work, we picked up a scrap of paper and, seated upon an empty lemon box pushed against the wall, with a stub pencil, added the (first) two stanzas and chorus of the song… Since the lines (3rd stanza from the Jewish poem) had been found penciled on the wall of a patient’s room in an insane asylum after he had been carried to his grave, the general opinion was that this inmate had written the epic in moments of sanity. Frederick M. Lehman, “History of the Song, The Love of God,” 1948
The music to this beautiful hymn was arranged by Lehman’s daughter, Claudia L. Mays.
The Love of God
Frederick M. Lehman
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.
My friend, if you are feeling alone in the midst of total chaos today, please know that there is nothing that can separate you from your Heavenly Father! He is right there – going through your trials along with you. Rom. 8:38-39, For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, (38 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (39) This got me to thinking about the preciseness of this verse – Paul left nothing to chance – he included everything that a human being could think up in his quest to find the limit God’s love. There is nothing!
- Death – The saved child of God will die but he cannot go to hell. It only serves to emphasize that We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (2 Co 5:8
- Life – The saved child of God cannot be separated from God no matter how he lives his life – it is not a license to sin but it proves to us that our sin is not what separates us from Him! Our sin hinders fellowship with God but does not remove our position in His family.
- Angels – the devil is a fallen angel – he cannot separate us from God!
- Principalities – No supreme power on earth can separate us from God!
- Powers – No power whatsoever can separate us, including ole slew foot himself!
- Things Present – No circumstances in the present can separate us.
- Things to Come – No circumstances in the future can separate us!
- Height – It just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of height can separate us! Visualize it in your mind’s eye.
- Depth – Again, it just goes to show us (like in the picture above) that no amount of depth can separate us!
- Any other creature – No creature can separate us! This puts to rest those who believe that you can choose to give up your salvation. God says that no other creature can separate us from His love. If your child divorced himself from you and your family, would that make you any less of a parent? Of course not.
Praise the Lord that our salvation is not dependent on anything that we do! Our salvation is totally dependent on God’s love and what He did for us!