Down through the tedious ages of time man's heart has been cheered at the thought of the boundless love of God, and in his soul there has often been touched a responsive chord to that wonderful love. So compelling is this love that it is often felt by the most unfortunate and seemingly hopeless of mortals. Some years ago after the patient in a certain room in one of the mental institutions of our land had found release from his pathetic earthly sojourn, and his room was being readied for another unfortunate occupant, the attendants found scrawled on the walls of the room the following profound lines:
"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."
In his saner moments this poor, troubled soul had poured out his simple heart of love to his God.
In the ensuing years these lines were often quoted, and many hearts were touched. Early in the twentieth century an additional two stanzas and chorus, with a simple melody, were written by F. M. Lehman, using the foregoing as a climax in the third stanza. The melody was harmonized by his daughter, Mrs. W. W. Mays. It was nearly twenty years later that the song first "caught fire," and people in all walks of life began singing it.
But always there were inquiries about "that third stanza," and though the story of its origin never failed to make a solemn and heart-stir ring impression, many continued to feel that the language of those lines indicated a source even beyond that, perhaps somewhere in the dim and hoary past. They felt that the lines had only been quoted by the inmate in the story.
After endless searching in libraries someone decided to ask a Jewish rabbi—perhaps he would have a clue. The rabbi listened intently to the words, and quietly replied, "Yes, I can tell you who the author of those lines is. Rabbi Hertz, chief rabbi in the British Empire at one time, wrote a book entitled A Book of Jewish Thought. Go to a Jewish bookstore, and on page 213 you will find that this poem was writ ten in A.D. 1050 by a Jewish poet, Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai." It is in the hymnology of the synagogue used for the Feast of Weeks (Pentecost).
We can imagine this poet standing on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, contemplating the great love of his Jehovah. His heart is moved by the fires of inspiration. As the love of God sweeps over Meir Ben Isaac Nehorai's soul, his imagination fills the ocean with ink, the arching skies seem to magnify the scope of this all-compelling love, and the papyrus marsh comes to life with countless scribes writing ceaselessly and tirelessly about the measureless love of God.
Nehorai's love epic lay dormant through succeeding centuries. But Providence watched over and preserved these memorable lines. Yes, the third stanza of "The Love of God" was written by a Jewish poet in A.D. 1050. Time passed, then God put it into the heart of a Gen tile song writer, F. M. Lehman, whose heart also responded to God's love, to add the two stanzas and chorus in our own day, in Pasadena, California, in 1917.
Story from Ministry Magazine.
For my third choice I decided to read the book A Woman after God's own Heart by Elizabeth George. I read another book by her entitled Loving God with all of your mind which I thoroughly enjoyed and wrote a review about it that can be found under the book section. This book is Elizabeth's call for women to follow God with all of their heart and to seek to let Him have full control of their life. It was a blessing in so many ways and reminded me of several things that are needful in my life. I thought I would share just a few with you all.
1. A whole-hearted love for God looks to Him through His word and prayer....ready to act on His expressed desires. As I spend time in God's Word as well as in prayer it provides me with the opportunity for God to speak directly to me. This quiet time is essential in my pursuit of God. I cannot know what God's will for my life is if I don't spend time with Him each day. As I create the habit of seeking Him daily I will know what He desires for my life and can pursue it.
2. A woman after God's heart will cultivate a servant's spirit no matter if she is single or married. Wherever you are in life you can still serve. We are all called to serve others in love, Galatians 4:13. Our society tends to breed selfishness, calling us to look out for ourselves but that is not to be the description of true followers of Christ. A woman seeking God with all of her heart looks for opportunities to serve wherever, whenever and in whatever way she is able.
3. Don't give away to others what you have not first given away at home first. Our loved ones should always be our first earthly priority, after all they are given to us by God. As I just mentioned, we are called to serve but that includes our family. How often we go to great lengths to help others in need yet neglect the needs of our family. Elizabeth shared how she would make meals for someone in need at their church and how she had spent so much time preparing their meal that her family would get leftovers. She soon realized she needed to make two meals, one for the family in need and one for her own. This caused me to really think. So many times I give my best to others that there is nothing left for my mom, my precious loved one and that wasn't right. I should be willing to go the extra mile for her as much, if not more than I would for everyone else. God gave me someone to love and I wouldn't be doing a very good job is she simply got leftovers( and that was not in reference to just food!).
4. Deal with today. This was a great thought! Did you know that a good day turns into a good week which then turns into a good year and ultimately a good life? Yes, I know that not every day is great, believe me I have had my share of missing items and locking myself out of the house(worst feeling ever!). What I am saying is that we should focus on today. We can get so caught up in planning the future, which we should, but we can lose sight of today. Our tomorrows are made up of todays and our todays came from our choices yesterday. So maybe instead of fretting about tomorrow we should focus on our relationships today, our relationship with Christ, our family and friends. I think it will make our life a little less stressful. "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself"....Matthew 6:34.
5. Train yourself to think sweet and kind words to others. For most people being kind doesn't come naturally, I know it doesn't for me! It takes real effort and work to exercise kindness on a regular basis. Just like a toned body doesn't come without some hard training and denial, kind words toward others takes training and denial of self. James reminds us that our tongue has to be bridled and I know I need work in this area. It is so easy to be critical and talk ill of others but a woman after God's own heart seeks to be a blessing with her words and build others up instead of tearing them down. I want to be a Proverbs 31 woman who has the law of kindness in her mouth.
I hope these have been a blessing to you. I know that they may not have been easy to read but being a follower of Christ is not easy. It takes work to be different, to be a light in this dark world and spread a little salt around. I really do want to be a woman that is know for following after the heart of God.
I am just an ordinary girl who is loved by an extraordinary God and I seek to love others the same way. I love to bake, read, do puzzles, watch Hallmark movies, and go shopping with my mom! This blog was created as a place where I could share some thoughts that the Lord has shown me and to be an encouragement to others who desire to know Him in a deeper way. My prayer is to learn to sit still and trust God with my future.
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