Veritas

As you may know, I am a woodworker. I fell in love with woodworking at an early age when my parents gave me a Handy Andy tool chest of woodworking tools – saw, square, coping saw, block plane, hammer, ruler, etc. I remember finding scraps of 1×2 pine and cutting them into 2″ lengths to make play bales of hay. I think I may have maxed out at about 250 “bales,” enough to make a pretty good sized haystack. If my memory serves me right, that might be the era when my dad was continually frustrated when unable to locate a 1×2 when needed.

My love for woodworking intensified in 8th grade when I took wood-shop, taught by one of my all-time favorite teachers, Mr. Briggs. It further intensified when I married my wife, Barb. Her dad was a a really good woodworker so I learned from him. I ended up inheriting many of his power tools 15 years ago when he ‘retired’ from the hobby. Over the past 10-15 years (thanks to my son, Nate) I have complemented my power tool collection with a plethora of hand tools – some old (i.e. 100+ years), some new. Veritas Tools is one of my go-to manufacturers of quality hand tools. I have contributed a fair amount to Veritas’ bottom line as I’ve expanded my hand tool collection. Here are a couple examples…

I learned a new word recently – verity. Verity, I discovered, is derived from veritas, the Latin word for truth. In the last posting (Hesed and Emet) we looked at hesed, the powerful, rich, and robust Hebrew word describing God’s steadfast love and mercy toward his people. We looked at an example from the Psalms: “Steadfast love and faithfulness meet; righteousness and peace kiss each other” (Psalm 85:10, ESV). The word faithfulness in this passage is emet, another rich and robust Hebrew word describing God’s character

The Theological Workbook of the Old Testament suggests that emet can be translated into English as faithfulness or verity (truth). Emet carries an underlying sense of certainty and dependability. As with the example above, emet is often coupled with hesed, creating a synergism of two of God’s strongest attributes. (Keep in mind the definition of synergy – the combined effect is greater than the sum of the individual attributes.)

I get the chills when I ponder this. Hesed, combined with emet, provides a powerful glimpse of who God is – love and faithfulness, mercy and truth. We can be certain of and depend on his steadfast love.

Then we remember that Jesus is the visible expression of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15), the God of hesed and emet. Maybe John had hesed and emet in mind when he said that Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). Ponder this for a while. Maybe you’ll get the chills, too.