Thursday, May 02, 2013

Truth - Part 3

0571 tma  ‘emeth eh’- meth

Firmness, faithfulness, truth.

Contracted from 

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.

The most personal thoughts of all are the Psalms, the song book of the Bible.  In these 150 songs we find both praise and prayer, with an occasional lament.  The writers range from unknown Levites to King David.  Many were collected by Levites and were perhaps written by them.  They put much value on the truth, though they at times wonder "aloud" what the meaning of it all might be.

The first mention of truth is in Psalm 15.  David asks who is worthy to stand before God in worship, and then answers his own question:

2  He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.

The essence of a righteous man is what he is "in his heart."  When he is honest with himself, the believer before in God's presense confesses his unworthiness though he has done all the right things outwardly.  The truth is that only God is good, though he has lain down his Law (which is true) as a guideline to those who seek to be near to him. 

In Psalm 19 David extols the evidence of God's truth - both in the world and in the Word.  At verse 5 he begins to describe the Word of God:

7 ¶  The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.
8  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.
9  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.
10  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.
11  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.

The Word of God; called the Law, the testimony, the statutes, the judgments and the judgments of Yahweh; reflects His nature.  These verses contain so much, but verses 7 and 9 contain the words of this study "amen" and "emeth."  The Law is said to be perfect, that is to say, wholesome.  This word denotes soundness and integrity.  The evidence is in, supporting the Law as "amen" - totally trustworthy.  Then we see that "reverencial awe" in Yahweh's attribute will be with us forever because what He has decided -- including our eternal destiny -- can be no different.  His judgments are both true and "just right."  Verse 11 praises God that His Word both warns and promises those who believe.

In Psalm 25 David seeks an audience with Yahweh, declaring his confidence ("betach" = trust) that he will be heard and asks that God show him what to do:

2  O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3  Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.
4  Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
5  Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
6  Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Yahweh's attributes are worthy of praise, but so are His Words.  David prays that he will not sin, but instead will be shown God's will clearly so that he will be safe in God's presense.  He prays that Yahweh will display His compassion and acts of faithfulness to His Word.  He goes on to acknowledge God's goodness in patiently teaching those who humble themselves.  In the end the paths of God constitute the foundation upon which a believers faith rests: "mercy and truth" -- God's faithfulness to his covenant.

8 ¶  Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.
9  The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
10  All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

In Psalm 26, David justifies himself first, but acknowledges that he avoids sinners because his trust is in Yahweh.  He asks Yahweh to test him so he can be know that the path he treads is firmly in God's will.

1 ¶  Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
2  Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
3  For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

The Psalms are rich in extolling the truth found in God and His Word, so one more Davidic Psalm will close this post.  Psalm 31 presents truth up against "lying vanities."  David loves the truth, but can't stand the empty lies of his enemies.

4  Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
5  Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
6  I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the LORD. 

Yahweh El Emeth -- a glorious name of God, indeed!  When compared to rebellious mankind, there can be no other conclusion but to trust the Redeemer.

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