Faithfulness: It’s a relationship word

Emunah- אֱמוּנָה Faithfulness (Strong’s 530)

Emun- אֵמֻן Faithful (Strong’s 529)

Hebrew 3 letter root: אָמַן -aman

The dictionary tells us that faith is the complete trust or confidence in someone or something. Biblically it’s a complete trust in YHWH God.

Even the word “Amen” comes out of the Hebrew root word for faith– aman- meaning “to believe”. So saying “Amen” is saying, “I believe it!”

But what’s the difference between having faith and being faithful?

Remember when Doubting Thomas sees the wounds in Jesus’ hands & side and then he suddenly believes he is seeing the resurrected Christ. Jesus says to him, Because you have seen Me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed.”

You see faith can be believing in something or someone. 

Faith can also be believing that someone is being truthful or able to fulfill their promise to you… it’s a trust issue.

The Old Testament really drives home the point that YHWH is a God of faithfulness. God’s faithfulness means fulfilling His promise to us. Faith can be one way, but being faithFUL needs a relationship to make it work.

Being faithful is committing to the promises you have with each other. It is a two-way relationship. Being faithful to a spouse or a friend means never turning your back on the promises you have made with each other. In this way God is spouse/friend to us; a God of pure faithfulness. He never gives up on us… even when we turn our back on Him. 

The Old Testament really drives home the point that YHWH is a God of faithfulness.

Deuteronomy 7:9

“And know therefore that YHWH your God, He is THE God, the faithful God, who keeps the covenant and lovingkindness with those who love Him and keep His commandments, to a thousandth generation.”

We can have full faith in Him because He is worthy of our trust and confidence. Why? Because with lovingkindness (chesed) He keeps His promise of a covenant with His people, forever.

Lamentations 3:22-23

YHWH’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness (“Rabba emunah-teka”).  

With every rising of the sun God renews his love (ahava) and mercy for us without fail. He is unceasingly faithful to us. 

And God knows the faithful! He sees the sincerely righteous (tsedeq) as His people of faith:

EmunahIsaiah 26:2-4 “Open the gates, that the righteous nation may enter, the one that remains faithful. Those of steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace because they trust in You. Trust in YHWH forever, for in GOD YHWH we have an everlasting Rock.”

Although the Old Testament focuses on the faithful relationship between God and His followers, the New Testament often puts emphasis on having faith in what we cannot see. It also highlights individuals of pure faith. Yeshua (Jesus), in particular, carefully sought out and rewarded those of great faith:

Mark 5:24-34

So Yeshua went with him [Jairus], and a large crowd followed and pressed around Him. And a woman was there who had been afflicted for twelve years by an issue of bleeding. She had suffered greatly under the care of many physicians and had spent all she had, but to no avail. Instead, her condition had only grown worse.

When the woman heard about Yeshua she came up through the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she kept saying, “If I only touch His clothes, I will be healed.” At that instant her bleeding stopped and she sensed in her body that she was healed of her affliction.

At once Yeshua was aware that power had gone out from Him. Turning to the crowd he asked, “Who touched My clothes?”

His disciples answered, “You can see the crowd pressing in on You, and yet You ask, ‘Who touched Me?’”

But He kept looking around to see who had done this. Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him trembling in fear and she told Him the whole truth.

“Daughter,” said Yeshua, “your faith has healed you; go in peace and be free of your affliction.”

This was a woman of great faith! After her encounter with Yeshua her faith becomes an established relationship. The woman will be faithful to her Lord and He will continue to be faithful to her.

Psalm 31:23-24

O love YHWY, all you His Godly ones! YHWH preserves the faithful and fully recompenses the proud doer. Have courage and He will strengthen your heart, all you who hope in YHWH.

Remember, being faithful is a relationship word, so for those who have a relationship with God…

…we should be faithful to YHWH because YHWH is ALWAYS faithful to us.

Next week’s word: Mercy

 

 

 

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