There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy ~ Hymn 435

By: Alan Harvey

Posted: November 12, 2019

Category: Daily Devotional

Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal

And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, “For He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people responded with a great shout when they praise the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.

Ezra 3:11

Think for a moment what two building blocks are necessary for us to have a relationship with God. I believe those two might be “Love” and “Forgiveness.”

The current situation is: The Israelites had been freed to return to their homeland from living in Babylonian exile. Important for their life together was the rebuilding of the temple, the house of the Lord, that had been destroyed when they were taken into captivity. They needed a new house of worship.

The excavation work has been done by the builders. Now the priests arrayed in their vestments and musicians armed with trumpets and cymbals are ready for the ceremony to accompany the laying of the foundation of the temple. They praise and give thanks to the Lord, remembering that [God] is good, for His steadfast love endures forever toward Israel. The music resounds and the people respond with a great shout as the foundation is laid.

Foundational to the relationship between God and His people is God’s love and forgiveness. God’s goodness to His people is constant. God’s love will never end. And that truth is evidenced in this great hymn of the Church.

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy like the wideness of the sea.
There’s a kindness in God’s justice which is more than liberty.
There is no place where earth’s sorrows are more felt than up in heaven.
There is no place where earth’s failings have such kindly judgment given.

For the love of God is broader than the measure of the mind.
And the heart of the Eternal is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more faithful, we would gladly trust God’s Word
And our lives reflect thanksgiving for the goodness of our Lord.


Dear God, we thank You for first loving us so that we can love others. We thank You for Your goodness to us and for Your steadfast love toward us. Truly, we are blessed, and we are grateful! In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.