Yes and Amen: The Promise of Faithfulness

Yes and Amen: The Promise of Faithfulness

Yes and Amen: The Promise of Faithfulness.

“In Christ is found the Yes! to all God’s promises, and therefore it is through Him that we answer Amen! to give praise to God. As His Yes! and our Amen! ascend to God, we bring Him glory.” (2 Corinthians 1:20).

YES: the answer in the affirmative.

AMEN: (Hebrew, related to the root word for truth); Yes! That’s right! We agree; This is absolutely truer; This is certain; This is trustworthy and assured; So be it; Let this be true; We heartily approve; We believe this with all our heart and soul.

“Acknowledge with all your heart and soul that of all the promises made by the Lord your God, not one has failed; all have been fulfilled – not one has failed.”  (Joshua 23:14).

FAITHFULNESS OF GOD: (in Hebrew, “faithfulness” and “truth” are interchangeable); Literal meaning… True to His word; steadfast loyalty; trustworthy; truthful about promises; reliable; constant and dependable; act in good faith; certain in commitment; His word is His bond.

“Yahweh! The Lord! A God of tender mercy and gracious compassion, slow to anger, longsuffering, abounding in lovingkindness and faithfulness (truth), preserving righteousness and showing mercy for a thousand generations, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin, yet not excusing the guilty or ignoring sin…”  (Exodus 34:6).

When Moses yearned to be assured of God’s divine nature and glorious presence, the Lord promised Moses that He would make all His goodness pass before Moses. (Ex. 33:16-23). Shortly thereafter while on the holy mountain, the Lord kept His promise to Moses and passed before him, saying His name and revealing His sacred attributes. God chose to reveal His essence, the fixed qualities of His character, highlighting the most basic qualities of His divine nature. This is what the Lord wanted Moses to know about Himself above all else. Did the Lord choose to reveal His almighty power? His overwhelming majesty? No, He chose to reveal Himself as a God of love and forgiveness, mercy and faithfulness. Did God want to portray Himself as primarily a God of wrath? No. For a glimpse of how Jesus thought about the Father and His character, consider carefully the character of the father in the Prodigal Son story in Luke 15:11-32. This is the Father that Jesus knows and loves so intimately.

“I shall sing about the Lord’s faithful love forever, with my mouth proclaim your faithfulness to all generations; because I have said, Mercy is built to last forever; in the heavens themselves you established your faithfulness… Lord, God of the Angel Armies, who is as mighty as you? Your faithfulness surrounds you!” (Psalm 89:1-2,8).

Believers in the true Triune God have so much to be thankful for… the ancient gods were perceived as unpredictable and capricious, changeable and unreliable. No one could count on whatever they thought the god said. After all, those gods were imaginary and untrue, so their perceptions depended on things like the weather and the harvest and the changeable aspects of human existence. But the God of Hosts is eternally faithful and reliable, truthful and steadfast. Praise the Lord of the Angel Armies, who is faithful and true to His word, trustworthy and loyal. His promises don’t depend on the weather. The faithfulness of God’s character even extends to His creation, a universe that is unchangeable, perpetual, constant. God has His faithfulness surrounding Him, circling Him in truth, so that from any angle, He remains certain, an immovable Rock. No matter how you look at God, His word is His bond, keeping His promises from one generation to the next till the end of time.

“You who live in the secret shelter of the Most High (Elyon), will rest in the shadow of the Almighty (Shaddai), saying to the faithful Lord (Yahweh), God is my refuge and fortress, my Creator God (Elohim) in whom I trust. He will rescue you from the hidden trap of the enemy and from the plague of calamities. He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge. His faithfulness (truth) shall be your shield of protection.” (Psalm 91:1-4).

Four of the Hebrew names for God are used in this short passage of trust in the Lord. Some scholars claim the author is David, but that is not certain. We do know that this psalm has been used for divine protection and encouragement against Satan’s attacks in the midst of spiritual warfare. Protection in this battle against the devil and his forces is guaranteed when hiding in God and His faithfulness. Hebrew scholars say that “shadow” in verse 1 is a picture of a mother bird that shelters her young, protecting them beneath her wings. This psalm assumes there will be spiritual conflicts and demonic attack, but God is true to His word, He has promised spiritual protection to those who shelter in Him. He is faithful to remain a refuge and fortress in time of spiritual danger.

“O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.” (Isaiah 25:1).

When we plan ahead, sometimes these plans change because things happen that weren’t anticipated by us. When God plans ahead, we don’t have to worry about a change in plans. God knows everything, is all-wise, and is outside time. He made many amazing plans before even the beginning of time, before the foundation of the world. God made many early promises that were rock-solid because things are not changeable with the Lord. God can predict and expect everything before it happens, because He is in that experience before it happens. God makes plans accordingly, and those plans are full of mercy.

God knew before the Garden of Eden that mankind would disobey Him and bring death to the human race and all creation. So He knew right from the start that mankind would need a Savior (1 Peter 1:20), and that this Savior would come from a race of people chosen by God (Deut. 26:18; Hebrews 6:13-15). God planned on being a Father to this chosen people and to assure their survival through the birth of their Messiah for the world (Isaiah 46:4; Deut. 1:31; 2 Corinthians 6:18-7:1). God knew that this Messiah-Savior would crush Satan’s head by the Resurrection, and so God told Satan that his plans would be foiled by a descendant of Eve (Genesis 3:15). God planned a Redeemer before the world’s first sin. He foreshadowed the Resurrection soon after Satan first slithered into the Garden. Wonderfully, God appointed Jesus to be the Savior before there was any need for salvation! God also planned before creation on offering eternal life to mankind (Titus 1:2) in union with Jesus, that believers would be welcomed into the life and fellowship of the Trinity and become partakers of God’s divine life and character. (1 Corinthians 1:9; 2 Peter 1:3-4). God made many astounding promises in His ancient counsels of time. He kept every promise, He was perfectly faithful and true to His word.

It looks like God wrote all the major headlines in the human story before the creation of the world, from being created in God’s image, to the Fall, to Redemption and the Resurrection, to His Fatherhood, to union with Jesus, to eternal life with Him. God planned ahead, wrote the outline for a true story before it happened, and fulfilled all His promises. God promised salvation and eternity in His basic outline of human life. And now it’s up to us to cooperate with His plans as we live into His outline of the world.