The word emet is a common word used to describe God in the Bible. It can be translated as “faithfulness” or “truth.” It involves honesty and truth-telling, (Proverbs 12:19), reliability, and dependability (Psalm 31:6). Because emet is the last of the five words used to describe God in Exodus 34:6, it has the effect of declaring that God’s character of compassion, graciousness, patience, and loyal love will be constant, faithful, or forever. So when the authors say that God is “full of emet,” they are saying that God is trustworthy and reliable, true to his character and his promises.
God desires for his people to reciprocate his trustworthiness by placing their trust in him, both in belief and in action. The Hebrew word for trust is from the same Hebrew root of emet, he’emin. It can be translated as “to believe” or “to have faith,” but most basically, it means “to consider someone trustworthy” or “to trust.” It’s what God calls humans to do in response to his character of emet.
The story of the Bible shows us many positive and negative examples of what it looks like to trust, or not trust, God. Abraham’s belief in God’s ability to be faithful to his promise to him is held up as an example of trust (Genesis 12:1-3; 15:5-6). Israel’s lack of belief in God when they spy out the promised land is held up as an example of failed trust (Numbers 14:11). David walks in emet before God and trusts in God’s promise of a future faithful king who will reign forever (2 Samuel 7:15-16; 1 Kings 3:6).
And God ultimately fulfills his promises to Abraham, Israel, and David in the person of Jesus (Matthew 1:1). He is the faithful king whose kingdom will endure forever. Jesus embodies God’s trustworthiness (Romans 15:8-9; John 1:14) and calls us, along with all the world, to place our trust in him (John 3:16).
Today our reading comes from Leviticus 11-13 where God gives some cultural rules surrounding cleanliness.
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