Faith Matters

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By REV. DR. BRIAN GIGEE

 “EMUNAH” –Stand fast; hang on!

“So, friends, take a firm stand, feet on the ground and head high. Keep a tight grip on what you were taught, whether in personal conversation or by our letter.”- 2 Thessalonians 2:15

Have you heard?  A significant number of young adults (mostly men) have a ‘zombie apocalypse’ attack plan.  Up to 37% of adults under the age of 30 know what they are going to do when the zombies come. The plans include phrases like ‘board up the house’, ‘call all my friends,’ ‘steal a car’, ‘get a gun‘ and ‘stock up on Twinkies‘.  Amazing, huh?  Well, there is some biblical evidence worth noting… 

“…people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away.  Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.  On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the LORD with great panic. They will fight their neighbors hand to hand.”  (Zechariah 14:12-13)

It’s still 2020.  Hey, it could happen!

It also seems, according to the prophet, that God would do this. (Large collective sigh).  But, while some are formulating plans for zombie attacks, there are others who keep planning for daily life and the days to come.  I’m one of those guys.  I hope you are, too!  And unless you have been living under a rock, and not paying attention to the news and federal government / CDC / state / local announcements… then let me just say… this has been a year to remember of all the years to remember.  Make plans. And here’s the word that will help us…   Emunah!  It’s a real word!

This past Sunday, I was at an east Texas old time tent revival.  Some are scratching their heads right now… but I did!   There was good music and good preaching.  Confessions were heard and people were blessed.  The night included a whole bunch of hand raising and waves attached to words like “hallelujah” and AMEN!”  And there it is… AMEN… but in a deeper sense that word we all can cling to in this moment is… “EMUNAH!” 

As many of us were taught ‘amen‘ means… ‘truly, truly’ or ‘let it be so’ … and let it go at that… I’m suggesting ‘amen’ has a more powerful image for us that can be truly helpful… as ‘amen’ has its roots in the Aramaic term, “emunah” (pronounced E-Moo- Nah’) and literally means… “stand fast, hold your ground” or ‘hang on… keep your place; don’t let ’em push you around.’  It’s a way better word and it’s exactly what Jesus did.  He had guts for God.  His glory was secure.  He held his ground, stood fast allowing no one to push him around.  Jesus was compassionate… offering mercy for people in all circumstances of life.  This was crystal clear.  Life.  Love.  Grace.  Blood.  Water.  Poured out. For the sake of the world.  Amen?  Emunah!  Yes, Emunah!

Someone told me Jesus was the ONLY man who ever accomplished everything he set out to do. Everything.  Only one.  Faith matters!  It does!

Again, it’s like what Paul wrote to Titus…

I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone.”  (Titus 3:10-11 The Message)

So, good friends.  It’s still 2020.  Wash your hands.  Wear a mask.  Trust God. Concentrate on the good things for everyone.  Emunah!

NEXT WEEK: “Proverbial Goodness” (first in a 4 part look at ancient proverbs from the Bible as well as other cultures.)

Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches in Texas and Louisiana over the last four   decades.     Follow   his   blog ‘murmurings’ at https://briangigee.wordpress.com/.   Please send your comments   and/or questions to [email protected].

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