Seven Epithets: 5.1 Ha’El hanne’eman (האל הנּאמן) Faithful God
We are investigating the names of God, looking to see if this can help us have a closer relationship with Him, to adore and worship Him personally. All we do and all we know should be for that purpose. We sometimes (often!) get it wrong, take Him for granted; turn away; try our own faulty path. But God never leaves us: He is faithful. And that is the first of our epithets: Ha’El hanne’eman or Faithful God. We find this in Scripture:
Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is Ha’El hanne’eman, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments. (Deuteronomy 7:9)
And find it again later in the same book:
He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just.
Ha’El hanne’eman who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)
So what does this mean for us? Deuteronomy 7:9 extols us to KNOW who He is; that He is OUR God. This does not mean loyalty just to rules, customs and traditions, but to God Himself. He is faithful and keeps His promise of LOVE to those who love Him and keep His commandments. That points us to relationship: true love lives in relationship. It is not the ‘idea’ of being in love, but actually being in love which calls us to keep His commandments. Little wonder Jesus said (and note the order in which He said it):
Jesus replied: ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’(Matthew 22:37-40)
Look again at Deuteronomy 7:9 – our faithful God keeps His promise of love to us and our offspring where we love Him and keep His commandments. Jesus tells us to love God and keep His commandments. Deuteronomy 32:4 shows us that God does the same: His works are perfect, His ways just, He does no wrong and He is faithful. Such is His love for us.
He is there first in that, and Jesus provides the way for us to respond because Jesus knew God is faithful and He trusted God not just with His life but with His eternal spirit. Thanks to Jesus, God is our Father too. So trust Him. Because He is ever faithful to you and He loves you.
And He is there at the end. The Hebrew ‘eman’ is the root of this sense of being faithful, true and certain. It finds its way into Greek as ‘amen’ meaning ‘in agreement as true and certain.’ God as Ha’El hanne’eman … Revelation 3:14 refers to Jesus as “The Amen, the witness who is faithful and true, the source of God’s creation.”
Interestingly, there is one other time in the Bible that ‘Faithful God” is recorded. It is in Psalm 31:5. How relieved and secure must Jesus have been to be able, on the cross, to declare with His last few breaths:
Into your hands I entrust my spirit.
You have rescued me, O LORD, my Ha’El hanne’eman. (Psalm 31:5)
[from Timothy Pitt]