It’s kind of interesting that “abounding in faithfulness” shows up at the end of all the other attributes of God listed in Exodus 34:6. Faithfulness is a critical characteristic of God, but it is also an affirmation of everything just disclosed. God will be faithful to the claim that he is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Those are attributes that are true and trustworthy. You can rely on that. You can count on that. God will be faithful to God’s promises. In fact, that gives us a glimpse into the broader meaning of the Hebrew root word used here, emet.
Emet can mean faithful. God will stick with us. God won’t abandon us. In Psalm 31:5, David, while going through a difficult time declares, “Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.” Jesus grabs onto this verse on the cross. For both, they entrust their spirit, their very breath of life into the faithful hands of God.
Emet can mean reliable. We can count on God. We can rely on God, because God will follow through on his promises. Paul has this great line about Jesus in 2 Cor. 1:20 “For no matter how many promises God has made, they are ‘Yes’ in Christ. And so through him the ‘Amen’ is spoken by us to the glory of God.” What a great verse! God’s promises are all “YES” in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the proof that God is reliable. Jesus is the proof that God is faithful.
Emet also means true. Truth. Trustworthy. God will be true to God’s nature. God will be true to his promises. God’s word is trustworthy and true. In fact, the word emet is the same root as the word, “amen” (emen). At a basic level, when we say amen, we are saying, “that’s true, that’s truth, that’s trustworthy.” To circle back to 2 Cor. 1:20, through Jesus we are able to say about God’s promises, “that’s true, that’s truth, that’s trustworthy.”