Exodus 17 recounts this story: “The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites… Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up – one on one side, one on the other – so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (italics mine)

The Hebrew word used here for ‘steady’ is also the same word for ‘faith’ or ‘faithfulness.’ It carries with it the idea of perseverance. Picture an elderly man’s tired arms being held up, remaining steady and strong till the job was done and the army defeated. In Hebrew the word is “emunah” and it means ‘faith/faithfulness.’ In fact you could say here that the arms of Moses were faithful.

Jesus Himself talks about faith/faithfulness and compares it to a mustard seed. I learned recently that a mustard seed looks like a fleck of pepper – you know how small those are. And this mustard seed can fall into a dry rocky soil. The seed attaches itself to the soil and slowly steadily begins to grow and with enough time, that tiny seed grows big enough to move boulders.

When Jesus talked about faith as small as a mustard seed moving mountains He was giving a picture of loyalty, a plodding determination to an amazing God. The Bible doesn’t want perfection but a steady perseverance.

God is the epitome of faithfulness. We just celebrated one aspect of His faithfulness with the birth of Jesus. And the response God desires from us – not just celebrating, not just singing songs about the birth – but choosing to be faithful to God in the good times and the bad. His faithfulness is to bring about our faithfulness.

Believer, as you begin a new year may you walk faithful to the Lord your God. May each and every day in 2016 you declare that He is your God, He is your Lord, He is your King and you will choose to submit to Him. And one day may we all hear from our Father in heaven “Well done, good and faithful servant.”