Betrothed in Faithfulness

It has often been maintained that the very general employment of symbol and metaphor throughout the books of the Bible has made it difficult for western thought to regard their teaching as practical and adequate to the daily needs of modern life. Yet there is something in poetic imagery of the Scriptures which rivets attention and helps to elucidate the meaning of the text in a very striking way. The writer's attention was especially drawn to this fact when the following verse was read during a Christian Science service: "I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the Lord."

The use of the term betroth implies a covenant, or contract, for that which is to be fulfilled at a future time; a condition binding upon both parties. It holds up to view the necessity for working out our own salvation, and it would be difficult to convey so full a meaning in any other words. Faithfulness demands continuity of action, prolonged testing and proof. The knowledge of God is the sure reward of unswerving obedience to our highest understanding of Truth. There must be constant readiness to fulfil the calls made upon our faith and loyalty in the service of God. It is seldom, indeed, that the crown of faithfulness has been attained in this sphere of action. To Moses was given the tribute of high achievement, since of him it is recounted that he was faithful "as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after." Of Christ Jesus it is written that he "was faithful to him that appointed him," and "as a son over his own house;" and in the first chapter of the Revelation of St. John the apostle speaks of Christ Jesus as "the faithful witness."

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