Monday, November 14, 2011

The Power of Hyperbole

I have always liked music, and I have usually had an appreciation for poetry. Combine those and you get someone who loves song lyrics. When I listen to music, the words always make a difference to me. If the lyrics are good, I tend to like a song better even if it is not musically strong. If the lyrics are weak, I tend to like the song less despite its musicality.

Hyperbole is extreme exaggeration of something in order to make a point clearer. A good example of hyperbole in the Bible is when John said, "And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25). While this statement may be "true"... if you really think about it, Jesus lived 33 years and spent 3 of those in ministry... so I do not think it would be impossible for "the world itself" to contain the books. BUT, the point John is trying to make is that Jesus' works were innumerable and incalculable. So great were they in number, that it astounds our minds to think about it.

Anyways, I have really been struck by a song lyric recently. It is in the song "I Can See Your Love" by Leeland. The song is pretty cool, with a great guitar lick and a vocal track to match it. But suddenly towards the end of the song, the tempo slows down and the following words are calmly delivered:

"Could we with ink the ocean fill
And were the skies of paper made
Every tree 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
Oh love of God, how rich and pure
How measureless and strong
It shall forevermore endure
The saints' and angels' song..."

The powerful images that this creates in my mind are absolutely astounding, and it has reduced me to tears just thinking about how great His love is. The truth is, His love IS written across the skies, and every man SHOULD be a scribe (not necessarily writing, but transmitting/imparting His love in some way), and yet there is no way to contain or fully express the vastness of His love. I can't wait for the day when I meet Him and experience that love in its purest form, uninhibited by my pride and weak flesh.

Beautiful song lyrics, to say the least. What do you all think about them?

Editor's Post-Publishing Note: I just did a little "research" and discovered that this was originally a hymn (?) written by Frederick Martin Lehman. Alas, the English did sound a little old-fashioned. Incredible poetry, nonetheless!