Updated: Dec 17, 2020
My kids and I talk about the value of trust. In our house, trust is like currency. The more trust they have, the more freedom they are allowed. When we first moved into our home, Jade, Kaiah, and I walked the boundary lines of our neighborhood. Rebecca and I set limits for them to ride their bikes. The girls were excited. The neighborhood had very little traffic, unlike where we moved from, and they could roam further, within the boundaries we had set.
They also, check-in periodically and have responsibilities with the care and use of their devices. This has become more challenging, as more and more of their time is required online, with schoolwork. As trust builds, so does their freedoms. We have been asked if age matters. They will say,
“Kendra got to, when she was my age.”
Age does not determine the level of trust, or our ‘faith’ in our girls’ decision making. Trust, grounded in their faithfulness in their responsibilities, determines their limits and new adventures.
Faith is an interesting word. In the English language it has been used synonymous with hope. The Biblical use of the word ‘Faith’ is a bit different. Today we might say, have faith, referencing ‘blind faith’. It reminds me of Indiana Jones and ‘The Last Crusade’. Indiana (Harrison Ford) came to the leap of faith trial in the temple. The camera angle shifts as we get a look at a rock pathway designed to disappear in the surroundings. It’s invisible. Indy must have faith the bridge will be there when he steps out. Throwing some gravel onto the empty space, he notices a camouflaged bridge. So, it wasn’t complete ‘blind faith’ when he steps out.
The Hebrew word used for ‘faith’ in the Old Testament is Emeth. Emeth- is the Hebrew root for trust or faith and belief. It could also be used as true or truth. This word occurs 329 times in the Hebrew Bible. We also get the word Amen from this word, in other words, “It is true.” You may also say “That is true.” Amen is the root of the Hebrew word for trustworthy or faithful (Tim Mackie). God is described as full of Emeth in Exodus 34.
The Greek translation is Epistos or Oletheia. These words in Greek display faithful, faith, or trustworthy. The Bible uses it as a testament to trustworthiness. There has been evidence to find trust and have faith in someone, or God. God has even challenged Israel saying, “Test me in this (Malachi 3:10).” God has shown himself to be worthy of faith. He is trustworthy and true.
Another example of the word for faith being used, Proverbs 12:19 says, “Truthful lips (lips of Emeth) endures forever, but a lying tongue is for a moment.”
It is consistent in Scripture to see the word for faithful as something to be trusted and true. Hezekiah says, “Now Oh, Lord please remember how I have walked before you in faithfulness (Emeth) and with a whole heart and done what is good in your sight (II Kings 20:3).” Hezekiah proves true to God, but in English we would say he is faithful or trustworthy.
Scripture is not telling us to believe blindly, but weigh the evidence of God’s faithfulness and trustworthiness. We can know Him to be True. We have evidence to put our ‘faith’ or trust in God. “Into your hands I commit my very breath save me oh God of Emeth (Faith, or trust) (Psalms 31:6).”
The difference between the modern English understanding is not a ‘blind faith’ but one that has weighed and measured the overwhelming faithfulness of God. When someone says, “Just have faith.” What they are meaning to say is, “Hasn’t God been faithful in the past? Why would this be any different? Know that God is moving and working.” God is trustworthy and true; He deserves our trust, and He honors it. David had seen how God protected him from the jaws of the lion and the paw of the bear. How would this giant man, named Goliath, be any different?
Hebrews 11:1 says, “Be sure of what you hope for and certain of what you cannot see.” Your hope is founded in the promises of God. You are certain He will fulfill those promises, because he has shown himself to be trustworthy and true. The Goliaths you are facing today can be handled by God. Study Scripture to find His promises to you and me, today. He has promised life and more abundantly, if we trust Him (John 10:10). If we, like David, trust God by following His teachings on life (Sermon on the Mount: Matthew 5-7), will find life and more abundantly.
So, Christianity doesn’t require blind faith, it doesn’t even ask us for ‘blind faith’. God asks we be shrewd as serpents and meek as doves. Make a measured choice to follow God. “Test me in this,” Says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it (Malachi 3:10).”
Trust me. I am Emeth.