Faithful and True
by Sue Towne
In Chapter 19 of the Book of the Revelation, Yeshua is pictured as riding a white horse, coming back to rule the earth, and being called “Faithful and True.” This title sounds almost romantic—a description of someone who is a hero above all heroes.
But in the context of Hebrew Scripture, this title reveals Yeshua’s heart connection with covenant. In the Psalms and the Prophets, two special Hebrew words are almost always written near each other to describe God’s covenant relationship with Israel. One of those words is chesed (pronounced “HESS-id”). The other is the word emunah (pronounced “em-oo-NAW”).
Chesed is impossible to translate accurately into one English word. Chesed is the deeply committed love that goes to any lengths to express itself within a blood covenant relationship. Yet, to say that chesed simply means “covenant love” does not capture the depth of the Hebrew for us because covenant relationships are not celebrated in modern, western culture.
Emunah is another word associated with blood covenants and is likewise difficult to translate. It means both “faithfulness” and “truth.” Translators face the dilemma in one Hebrew text after another as they are forced to choose one of these two English words to describe this rich Hebraic concept. Emunah, as an adjective, would probably be more accurately rendered as “faithful/true” or “faithful and true.”
The same problem faced New Testament writers looking for a Greek word to express the concept of emunah. But the Holy Spirit solved the problem for John in Revelation 19 by using several Greek words that translate as “faithful and true.”
What John is saying in Revelation 19 is that Yeshua is “Emunah”—the embodiment of faithfulness and truth. This is essentially the same thing Yeshua said about Himself in John’s gospel (14:6) when He said, “I am … the truth.”
What richness we find then in Rev. 19:11. For Yeshua is the Word of God made flesh, the very expression of the chesed of God. How fitting for Him to bear the title, “FAITHFUL AND TRUE” as He keeps His promise to return to earth. And isn’t this title really a synopsis of all we know about Yeshua’s life and ministry?
You and I, His talmidim (disciples), are also called to be “faithful and true.” How many times have we said, “I want to be just like You, Lord”? The heart of a true talmid (disciple) studies the Master in order to imitate Him.
Let us walk, therefore, with grace, imitating our Master in chesed and emunah today. May we be counted faithful and true by our Father.
—Sue Towne, Messianic Vision International Prayer Coordinator
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.