0571 tma ‘emeth eh’- meth
Firmness, faithfulness, truth.
0539 Nma ‘aman aw-man’
To support, to confirm, to be faithful
To be established, to make firm
To stand firm, to trust, to be certain, to believe in.
An unnamed psalmist presents a prayer for revival among the “sons of Korah,” song leaders in the tabernacle or temple of God. The people of God had strayed from the path which the Law laid down for them, but the psalmist trusts in God's promises, knowing that if they do what God has commanded God will certainly bless them. In the latter part of psalm 85 he writes:
8 ¶ I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.
9 Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yea, the LORD shall give that which is good; and our land shall yield her increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him; and shall set us in the way of his steps.
God's people are called “saints,” or a people set apart to holiness. Though called to follow the true God, they were in need of deliverance. Mercy (chesed) is found up alongside truth once again. God is faithful, and his Word is the strong foundation upon which His promises lay. As a consequence, that which the Law requires and reconciliation with God are mated as well. When God's people ground themselves in God's Word, they will find that God has been there all along, waiting to bless those who will turn back to Him.
In Psalm 86, David prays to God for deliverance as was his daily practice. Realizing that as a mortal human being that he was only able to come to God because God allow him to do so, he prays that others might also be allowed around the throne:
8 ¶ Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.
9 All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O Lord; and shall glorify thy name.
10 For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone.
11 Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.
12 I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.
13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
14 O God, the proud are risen against me, and the assemblies of violent men have sought after my soul; and have not set thee before them.
15 But thou, O Lord, art a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth.
The way of God is the truth, and all other paths lead to false gods. However, as earthly leader of God's chosen people, David prays that Gentiles will look upon what Yahweh has done for Israel and come to a true relationship with God. God can be depended upon to be faithful to His promises even to those who are not “Jewish.” David recognizes God has saved him, and prays that God's attributes will be displayed to all who see his work in His people.
Ethan the Ezrahite writes what is considered to be a Messianic psalm, describing the ideal son of David. Throughout the psalm he extols the person and work of Yahweh as being the foundation of all hope. Selected verses of Psalm 89:
1 ¶ Maschil of Ethan the Ezrahite. I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations.
2 For I have said, Mercy shall be built up for ever: thy faithfulness shalt thou establish in the very heavens.
7 God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him.
8 O LORD God of hosts, who is a strong LORD like unto thee? or to thy faithfulness round about thee?
13 Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
14 Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: mercy and truth shall go before thy face.
Though this psalm is reach in content and application, these verses should suffice to show the connection of the truth to God's work among mankind – and especially among the people He calls his own. The word translated “faithfulness” is a form of the word “amen” (the verb form from which “emeth” [truth] is derived). The word “mercies” is the word “chesed” which we have seen refers to God' faithfulness to his covenant. This psalm clearly illustrates that connection.
In Psalm 91, the psalmist presents God as the protector of His people in a very personal way. Using the picture of a mother bird who protects her young from the disaster of traps set by hunters, the famous “fortress” metaphor is utilized superbly:
1 ¶ He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.
3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.
4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.
When we trust Yahweh, we need fear no danger, for our God will protect us. This protection is as sure as is His existence!