“Behold, his soul is puffed up, it is not upright within him, but the righteous shall live by his faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 ESV
Faith – Finally we come to the most crucial term – faith. Once again we must turn to the Hebrew background. The Hebrew stem is ‘aman. It means, “to confirm, support, uphold, establish, be certain.” The TWOT article makes an important observation. “This very important concept in biblical doctrine gives clear evidence of the biblical meaning of ‘faith’ in contradistinction to the many popular concepts of the term. At the heart of the meaning of the root is the idea of certainty. And this is borne out by the nt definition of faith found in Heb 11:1. The basic root idea is firmness or certainty.”  Now that we have the basic idea, we must look at the derivative ‘emunah, the word used in Habakkuk. We should notice right away that this word is translated “faith” because of Paul’s use of the Greek term pistin (faith) in his quotation of Habakkuk in Romans 1:17. If it were not for Paul, we would have to translate this Hebrew word faithfulness or fidelity, not faith. That would help us see that ‘emunah is not about some creed or doctrinal statement. It is about reliable living, living that is based on some constant, unshakeable standard. In other words, Habakkuk seems to be saying that those who judge correctly, whose lives are a reflection of the divine standard, live on the basis of utter reliance upon that standard. They behave according to the firm conviction that the measuring rod is true and reliable. A man of “faith” is a man who is in alignment with God’s words.
All of these are consistent. Faith is not words. It is deeds. It is the power of words displayed in action (“Let there be light. And there was light.”). The emphasis is always on the behavior. Yes, behavior is the result of right thought and right attitude, what in Hebrew would be lev (heart), but it never stays there. A man does not live in his mind. He lives in the real world of motion. And that’s where tsaddiq shows up. It is exhibited in the ‘emunah of consistency, of uniformity to the code, of fidelity to the author of the code. If that isn’t present, faith isn’t present, no matter what you want to call it.
Topical Index: faith, faithfulness, ‘emunah, ‘aman, Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17
 Harris, R. L., Harris, R. L., Archer, G. L., & Waltke, B. K. (1999). Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (electronic ed.) (51). Chicago: Moody Press.