Image source: RhemaTheFaithfulChurch
How can you tell if someone truly loves you? How do you tell if your team mate is committed to a plan? How can you be sure that your boss trust in you? One sure way is to observe how your partner, your team mate, or your boss acts towards you and speaks about you, over a period of time. As time passes, their true intentions towards you will be challenged and tested; blessed are you if they stay true to you.
The test of time, is the truest test of commitments we make. As time passes, our commitments will be challenged by people and events around us, sometimes intentionally, and sometimes accidentally. One of such commitments we make that is severely tested is our faith in God.
Many of us have come across Habakkuk 2:4b (KJV) that says: “…but the just shall live by his faith.” It is requoted in Romans 1:17, and in Galatians 3:11, and again in Hebrews 10:38. What is the origin story in the book of Habakkuk behind this famous passage and what has it got to do with ‘EMUNAH’.
Habakkuk the Prophet lived about 2600 years ago, at a time when corruption and violence were common in Judah. He prayed that God should intervene; God responded that he will use the vicious Babylonians to judge Judah. This scared Habakkuk so much, but God assured him that the “the just [God fearing people] shall live by EMUNAH” – this Hebrew word is what our Bibles translate as faith.
While our Bibles keep the translation of ‘EMUNAH” short, the full meaning of the word refers to ‘tried and tested faith’ of the Christian, and in addition ‘tried and tested faith of God’. The long translation of Habakkuk 2:4b would be: “…but the just shall live by their tried and tested faith in a tried and faithful God.” Stated another way – ‘the just shall live by absolute trust in an absolutely trustworthy God’.
More could be said about ‘EMUNAH’, but that is for another time. One takeaway message today, is that in these COVID-19 pandemic times, when we are all exhausted by fear, lockdowns, and social distancing, our faith in God is being tried and tested like never before; Habakkuk encourages us to keep going because ‘the just shall live by their tried and tested faith in a tried and faithful God’.
Lord, give us new strength to overcome the COVID-19 assault on our minds and spirits, on our familes and loved ones, in Jesus name, Amen!
Read More: The Just Shall Live by Faith, by John J. Parsons, writing in the Hebrew for Christians website.