Emunah

Recently, while looking up ‘faith’ for my Bible 10 class, I discovered a wonderful webpage that explained the meaning of some ancient Hebrew words. I found it very interesting and enlightening, and I hope to study it more in depth sometime when I actually have some free time.

My Grade 10's working on a studio class project

My Grade 10’s working on a studio class project

Ancient Hebrew vocabulary was filled with words that painted pictures of concrete concepts using actions or objects, and when studied they give a much deeper meaning to the abstract words that they have been translated into. Look up the word ‘fear’ for a good example of this.

I found it fascinating to look at different Biblical words like glory, love, peace, atonement and life – in the original Hebrew and the meanings they have. Sometimes the meanings aren’t too different from what we think it means, but it adds depth and perspective to look at the word from a new angle.

This is what the website had to say about ‘faith’.

The Ancient Hebrew word for Faith is Emunah.

27_faith

The Hebrew root aman means firm, something that is supported or secure. This word is used in Isaiah 22:23 for a nail that is fastened to a “secure” place. Derived from this root is the word emun meaning a craftsman. A craftsman is one who is firm and secure in his talent. Also derived from aman is the word emunah meaning firmness, something or someone that is firm in their actions. When the Hebrew word emunah is translated as faith, misconceptions of its meaning occur. Faith is usually perceived as a knowing while the Hebrew emunah is a firm action. To have faith in God is not knowing that God exists or knowing that he will act, rather it is that the one with emunah will act with firmness toward God’s will.

http://www.ancient-hebrew.org/27_home.html

I honestly don’t know if there’s much more I can add to that. Except that, in class, we then compared this definition with the characteristics of the faithful people in Hebrews 11. And we concluded that faith is indeed an action. And not just any kind of action, but a steadfast, firm, determined action. Action that will not waver or change course.

Noah built an ark, even though he had never seen a flood.

Abraham left his home, not knowing where he was going.

Abraham offered Isaac, his son of promise, as a sacrifice.

Moses refused to be called the son of Pharoah’s daughter.

Moses chose to suffer with the people of God.

Others refused to deny Jesus.

They did not have full understanding or explanation from God. They did not receive all the promises of God in their lifetime.

God commanded.

They obeyed.

Steadfastly. Unwavering.

Faith chooses the spiritual over the material. Faith chooses the eternal over the temporal. Faith looks beyond the here and now, grasps hold of the promises of God and acts with firmness towards God’s will for their life, as it is revealed to them day by day.

So I had to ask… Do I have emunah? Do I live like I believe the things I teach my students? Do I act with firmness towards God’s will?

Why is faith vital to my Christian walk? Because if I don’t have emunah – if I don’t act with firmness towards God’s will – it is because  I  do  not  really  believe!

Narrow Way

I purpose in my heart, by God’s grace, to have emunah towards Him.

One thought on “Emunah

  1. I work in the machinist trade, so I am considered to be a craftsman of sorts.
    I do not consider myself “firm” or “secure”; however, I know any work-piece must be held firm and secure before the work of transforming it can begin!
    ( just like Romans 12 : 2 – 3’s “measure of faith” )

    A workpiece is secured with nuts & bolts, clamps, and vises.
    The transformation is done with sharp cutters and other tooling.

    The geometry of the transformation is simply a “copy” of whats already there.
    For example, I can turn threads on a work-piece in a lathe so I can screw a nut onto it.
    No matter the pitch of the thread, its still a “copy” of the lead-screw.
    And a “copy” of the strait “ways” of the machine.

    Doesn’t the bible describe one who is the “way,” the “truth” and the “life?”
    Is not the outcome of our faith to be just like him? … Rev. 14:12?
    Hebrews 12:1-2 – both the machine and the machinist.

    PS – Tell Laura Hi for me.

    Thanks,

    Joe G

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