How great is God’s love for us? Can it be measured? Can the extent of God’s love be described in words? One of my favorite old hymns speaks of the immeasurable love that God has for us. The hymn is The Love of God which was written by Frederick M. Lehman in 1917. The song begins with these words:
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 extent of God’s love is far greater than the words of our mouths or the words that we write could possibly explain. His love is higher and deeper than we can even imagine. It is higher than the highest star and deeper than the lowest depths of hell. The third verse of this hymn beautifully explains how far beyond our human understanding God’s love really is:
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.
Think about that for a minute. About 71% of the earth is covered by water and 96.5% of that water is in the oceans. That’s a lot of water! And yet, if the oceans were filled with ink, that ink would not be enough to write about the extent of God’s love. Think about the sky and how expansive it is. And yet, if the sky were a scroll it would not be big enough to contain a description of God’s love.
God loves us so much that He gave His Son, Jesus, as a sacrifice for our sins so that we may have eternal life (John 3:16). And there is nothing that can separate us from God’s love (Romans 8:38-39). Our human words and thoughts can’t describe God’s love adequately. We can’t measure the extent of His love using our own understanding. But God has given us a picture of how great His love for us is, a measurement of the extent of His love. It is the distance between Jesus’ hands as He hung nailed to the cross. He loves us THAT much!