Summary: Looking at the Fruit of the Spirit of Faithfulness
Believe 28 - Faithfulness
May 31, 2015
Let me ask you . . . what’s in a name? Sometimes we hear names of kids, and we wonder what were the parents thinking about! How could they name their kids that?! When we have children we consider all the possible names, maybe make a list and come up with what we believe will describe that child.
How people name their children Adolf, or lucifer or Benedict? Kim Kardashian and Kanye West named their boy NORTHWEST, and Lil Kim named her daughter ROYAL REIGN. Frank Zappa named his kids Moon Unit and Dweezil.
We lived in Dearborn, Michigan from 2004-2007. Dearborn also has the largest muslim population in the United States. It was a very different experience. What made it even more interesting were the friends Joshua and Zachary made. They would hang out with kids named Muhammad, Hussein and more. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be talking to kids and their parents with those names. What’s in a name? Names carry great meaning and weight in our eyes.
And then there are nicknames, but we won’t get into them. Plus, there may be pet names that you and your spouse call each other. We won’t get into those either!
Consider what happens when others hear your name. What’s their first thought? How about when God looks at you, or when God hears your name . . . what’s God thinking about when it comes to you?
Our key verse is the one we’re going to look at today. When King Solomon wrote Proverbs, he wrote these words in Proverbs 3 ~
3 Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.
So, what was Solomon getting at with this statement?
Well, the translations are really puzzling. I can go into all of the different ways verse 3 is translated, and I am hesitant, because I don’t know how detailed you really want to get, but I’m going to do this for just a bit.
There are no translations that takes the literal Hebrew and uses the Hebrew word as it is. But, in going through this, hopefully we will see what is behind the words LOVE and FAITHFULNESS.
Notice verse 3 talks about love and faithfulness.
This is where it gets interesting. There are 2 words we’re going to look at from Hebrew. The words are CHESED and EMET. EMET simply means truth, or true. It can be used for faithfulness, but understand the point of this word is to tell you that there must be a certainty, a sureness, a reliability about you. When people see you and hear you, they know you not only speak the truth, but you demonstrate the truth. It means your word is reliable and certain. If you say you are going to do something, you do it. It means you are someone who is wonderfully and powerfully faithful!
There’s a huge amount of power wrapped up in that. How many people do we know who exhibit that type of reliability? We may say we have many acquaintances, but very few people we know we could call on and know they would be faithful to us.
Frankly, that’s one of the most powerful blessings and curses of the universal church! When we are the church, really practicing what God has called us to be, we are the most powerful institution in the world. That’s one of the strengths of our church. I believe we have a reliability and faithfulness to be there for one another when needed. When the church doesn’t work that way, it becomes a huge blemish in the eyes of the people within and outside of the church.
So, when we see the word FAITHFULNESS . . . we must understand it is really looking deep into our character. This is all behind that word EMET or truth.
Now the other word is LOVE! And the word in Hebrew is the word CHESED. It really has no English translation. It means loving kindness. It’s the same word we would have used last week when we spoke about kindness. It’s more of a covenant term. It can also mean having a COVENANT LOYALTY! That’s really how God relates to us. And it’s the way we’re supposed to relate to one another.
We are supposed to be people of the COVENANT and have a covenantal relationship with one another. A deep loyalty to one another. Our love should not be a passing kind of love, but it’s a deep abiding love which is based on God’s powerful covenantal love and loyalty to us. It’s the type of love which led God to send Jesus into the world for us, so that we would never be condemned, but instead, we would be saved by the gift of Jesus and His death for us.