O love of God, how strong and true;

Eternal and yet ever new;

Uncomprehended and unbought

Beyond knowledge and all thought.

Horatius Bonar. 1861.

The Love of God

‘God is love’, says the apostle John.  He does not say God has love, but He is love.  Love is His very being.  He is the Source of love.  It emanates from Him. 1 John 4:8.

The Greek word for this love is agape.  It is infinite and holy, having nothing of self.   “We need individually to open our hearts to the love of God, to overcome selfishness and harshness, and to let Jesus in to take possession of the soul.”  
Christian Education p26.

God’s love is perfect, as is shown in the ‘love chapter’ .   This is not man’s love, but God’s.   Agape suffers long, is kind, envies not, is not puffed up.  It does behave itself unseemly, does not seek its own, is not easily provoked and thinks no evil.  It does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth….. God’s love never fails.   
1 Corinthians 13:4-8.

The love flowing from God the Father is immeasurable.    

Our prophet tells us that the Father’s love for the human race was so great that He struggled in His decision to give His Son – Would He let humanity die without hope?   Or would He sacrifice His Son?   Although the covenant had been made in eternity, “yet it was a struggle, even with the King of the universe, to yield up His son to die for the guilty race…” wrote the prophet. 
God’s Amazing Grace p42.

After Adam and Eve had sinned, God’s beloved Son entered the light surrounding His Father to plead for the guilty pair and their posterity.  Three times He came before His Father seeking His consent.  They had covenanted in eternity, but now the covenant was to take effect.  Would God stand by His Word?

The decision of the Father was heart-breaking.  How could He allow His beloved Son to suffer such an ignominious death?  How could He watch Him mocked and derided by creatures He had created to worship and adore Him?  How could He watch His Son, begotten in His own image, and almost identical, give up His heavenly form and take on human flesh for ever.    

More than that, there was a possibility of a terrible loss -- His Son could fail!

After the third pleading before His Father, consent was given – God’s Son would become the surety for the human race.  Having gained approval to take the penalty for the human race, the Son unselfishly gave Himself to fulfil the covenant they had made in eternity.   
Early Writings p126.

“The love of God still yearns over the one who has chosen to separate from Him…”  
Christ Object Lessons p202.

We cannot comprehend the love of God.   As grateful as we are for salvation, our minds cannot fathom this type of love.  God has given us love for our parents, our spouse, our children, our friends, and these are beautiful and treasured gifts, but they do not come close to God’s love.

Sadly man’s love is tainted with selfishness.  God’s love is not.

Some brethren have thought it would be impossible for one heavenly Being to love.  ‘There must be someone to bestow that love upon’, they say.  But God is the Source of all love.  It is from Him the fountain of love flows.  

Before the creation of all things, the omniscient and omnipresent God lived alone in the universe, yet love was present.   It flowed from His very being.  The creation to come was already loved, for past, present and future are all the same to God.   The Son, who would bear His own likeness, was even now loved with an everlasting love, for He was “God’s thought made audible…”   
Desire of Ages p20.

These same brethren have suggested that two heavenly Beings could not love without unselfishness rising between them.   But God’s Son inherited all the divine attributes of His Father, including agape love.   The Father’s love could now be bestowed upon the Son in person, but this love had been anticipating and experiencing the reality for eternity.

Those who say one God could not love, and two would result in selfishness, believe a third heavenly Being is necessary – the Holy Spirit.  Thus the Trinity or triune God is proven to be absolutely essential.

What an insult to the God of the universe!   

These are fallen human thoughts.   “God is not a man, that he should lie” ….or become selfish.   God is not a sinner!   Away with such suggestions.

As sincere and dedicated as the men may be, to suggest that the love of God is subject to selfishness is not from heaven, but from beneath.   Any thought that supposes the love of God is as finite as human beings comes from the enemy, something not considered by the men concerned.

“To know God is to love Him;  His character must be manifested in contrast to the character of Satan.”   
Desire of Ages p22.

“It is the love of God continually transferred to man that enables him to impart light. Into the hearts of all who are united to God by faith the golden oil of love flows freely, to shine out again in good works, in real, heartfelt service for God."     
Christ's Object Lessons p418.


It is my prayer that we will all know the love of God as spoken of in Ephesians.  

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;  that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;  and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness 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.

Chorus: 
Oh love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong,
It shall for ever more endure -----
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Could we the ocean fill,
And were the sky 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,
Tho’ stretched from sky to sky.

​​​The lyrics of this song are based on the Jewish poem Haddamut written in Aramaic in 1050 by Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai, a cantor in Worms, German;  they have been translated into at least 18 languages.

As stated by Frederick Lehman -- "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. Le
hman, History of the Song, The Love of God, 1948


Below, the words of the first two verses, as written by Lehman.  The music was by Frederick Lehman, and arranged by his daughter Claudia L Mays.


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.

Refrain
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.

Refrain

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.

Refrain



Above regarding the hymn taken from:

website- http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/l/o/v/loveofgo.htm