"THE HALF WAS NEVER TOLD"
"…Behold, the half was not told me…" (1 Ki. 10.7)
INTRO.: A song which points out that just as the half of Solomon’s wisdom was not told the Queen of Sheba, so the half of God’s wisdom to us has not been told us is "The Half Was Never Told." The text was written and the tune was composed both by Philip Paul Bliss (1838-1876). It was copyrighted in 1876, and the copyright was renewed by The John Church Co. in 1904, so it may have been completed shortly before his untimely death. I have not been able to determine exactly where it first published. Some of Bliss’s works were left unpublished at his death but were later found and published afterwards. In his short lifetime, Bliss produced hundreds of gospel songs. Some of them, like "Wonderful Words of Life" and "Almost Persuaded," and many of his melodies, such as those for Frances Havergal’s "I Gave My Life For Thee" and Horatio Spafford’s "It Is Well With My Soul" are still quite famous, but "The Half Was Never Told" is among his lesser known. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, it appeared with three stanzas in the 1935 Christian Hymns (No. 1) edited by L. O. Sanderson. Looking through books in my collection, I have also seen it in the undated Songs for the King’s Business edited by Franklin E. Belden and published by Sunday School Supply House of Chicago, IL, and the 1983 Old School Hymnal, Eleventh Edition, edited by Roland U. Green and published by The Old School Hymnal Co. Inc. of Ellenwood, GA.
The song mentions several blessings of God the half of which cannot be expressed in human language.
I. Stanza 1 refers to grace
"Repeat the story o’er and o’er, Of grace so full and free;
I love to hear it more and more, Since grace has rescued me."
A. It is the grace of God that brings salvation: Tit. 2.11
B. Thus, we should love to hear it more and more: Rev. 1.3
C. It is by grace that we can be resuced or saved: Eph. 2.8
II. Stanza 2 refers to peace
"Of peace I only knew the name, Nor found my soul its rest,
Until the sweet-voiced angel came To soothe my weary breast."
A. Peace is something that all people seek: Phil. 4.6
B. Peace brings us the rest that our weary souls desire: Matt. 11.28- 30
C. Christian Hymns omitted this stanza, perhaps to eliminate the possibility of misunderstanding it to m ean that angels speak
directly to people today. However, the literal meaning of the word "angel" is "messenger" so the stanza could easily be understood
figuratively to refer to hearing the messenger who preaches the gospel of peace: Rom. 10.15
III. Stanza 3 refers to joy
"My highest place is lying low At my Redeemer’s feet;
No real joy in life I know, But in His service sweet."
A. Those who humble themselves before the Savior’s feet will be exalted: Lk. 14.11
B. Therefore, only those who humble themselves in Christ can know real joy: Phil. 4.4
C. This joy is found not in seeking power but in serving others: Matt. 20.25-28
IV. Stanza 4 refers to love
"And, O, what rapture it will be With all the host above,
To sing through all eternity The wonders of His love."
A. It will be rapture (an expression of great joy) to be with all the host above who stand before the throne: Rev. 7.9-10
B. These will be singing a new song for all eternity: Rev. 15.2-4
C. Part of that new song will be the wonders of the love of Him who redeemed us: Rev. 5.9-10
CONCL.: The chorus repeats the fact that we can never fully understand the depths of these wonderful blessings.
"The half was never told, The half was never told,
Of grace/peace/joy/love divine, so wonderful, The half was never told."
When we think about the grace by which we are saved, the peace and joy that we have in our souls as a result, and of God’s love that made it all possible, we would have to agree that "The Half Was Never