1 O love of God, how strong and true,
eternal and yet ever new,
uncomprehended and unbought,
beyond all knowledge and all thought!
O love of God, how deep and great,
far deeper than man's deepest hate;
self-fed, self-kindled like the light,
changeless, eternal, infinite.
2 O heav'nly love, how precious still,
in days of weariness and ill,
in nights of pain and helplessness,
to heal, to comfort, and to bless!
O wide-embracing, wondrous love!
We read you in the sky above,
we read you in the earth below,
in seas that swell and streams that flow.
3 We read you best in him who came
bearing for us the cross of shame;
sent by the Father from on high,
our life to live, our death to die.
We read your pow'r to bless and save,
e'en in the darkness of the grave;
still more in resurrection light
we read the fullness of your might.
4 O love of God, our shield and stay
through all the perils of our way!
Eternal love, in you we rest,
forever safe, forever blest.
We will exalt you, God and King,
and we will ever praise your name;
we will extol you ev'ry day,
and evermore your praise proclaim.
Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #240
|First Line:||O love of God, how strong and true|
|Title:||O Love of God, How Strong and True|
|Author:||Horatius Bonar (1861)|
st. 1 = Jer. 31:3, Lam. 3:22-23
st. 3 = Eph. 3:17-18
st. 5 = Col. 1:19-20
st. 7 = Ps. 33:20
One of Horatius Bonar's (PHH 260) best hymn texts, “O Love of God” was published in his Hymns of Faith and Hope (1861) in ten stanzas. The Psalter Hymnal includes the original stanzas 1, 3-6, 9, and 10.
The text's theme is God's love, which we cannot comprehend but do experience (st. 1-2). We may observe God's love in the creation around us (st. 3-4), but we find his love most clearly expressed in the sacrifice of Christ (st. 5-6); it is in this redemptive love that we find our eternal rest (st. 7).
The theme of God' s redemptive love is fitting for many worship services, particularly as a hymn between confession and assurance and the service of the word; worship that focuses on creation (st. 1,3-5); healing services (st. 1-2,5,7); funerals (st. 1-2,5-7); Easter Sunday (st. 5-7).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook