God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:9, ESV)

Sometimes translating a passage into “normal” English causes us to miss emphasis in the text of Scripture.  This verse is a good example.  In the Greek the first part of this verse reads: “Faithful is God.”  Paul wrote it that way to emphasize the fact of God’s faithfulness, but we lose a little bit of the force when it is changed into “normal” English, “God is faithful.”

Indeed, we might write it like this: “Faithful! is God.” This probably captures the force of Paul’s statement the best.

Paul’s point is this:  There are a lot of things in this life that may, and often do, let us down, our loved ones, our finances, our health, our friends, the government, our boss.  Sometimes they are faithful to us, sometimes they are not, we really can’t predict from one day to the next.  People whom we thought we could trust turn out to be untrustworthy.  Those whom we count on suddenly fail us.  And of course the brutal truth is that I am one of those people who can fail others or be untrustworthy myself.

God is not like this at all, as if we had to arise each morning and worry about whether this will be the day that God will fail us.  God will never fail us, writes Paul. As long as the sun rises at the break of day, as long as the moon continues to wax and wane while the tides of the oceans rise and fall, as long as the seasons of the year come and go and human beings are born to live, grow old, and die, so long will God be faithful. Indeed, he will be faithful beyond all of this, for when the earth as we know it is no more, and the ages come to an end, and God brings history to completion, God will still be faithful [as Buzz Lightyear put it] “to eternity and beyond.”

Faithful! is God.

 

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