This verse compares a faithful messenger to the end of harvest time, which brought great relief to the farmer. When the cold weather arrived with its snow, it definitely marked the end of the harvest season. By then, the farmer could rest knowing that the crops were in the barn, and the land had been made ready to lie fallow over the winter. They could now enter a refreshing time after all their toil through the growing season. This same feeling is used to express how the master would feel when his faithful messenger accomplished his mission.
In Biblical times, messages had to be sent by servants; and a faithful servant was of great value. His master could rest with the assurance that the message would never be poorly given or fall into the wrong hands. He would not only deliver the message, but convey it correctly and faithfully bring the response. He could not be bribed, and he would not be slack in his duty. If he had to travel a long distance, he would not be deterred by inclement weather, danger from bandits, darkness of night, sickness in body, or weariness of the journey.
As the moral climate of society has deteriorated, lying has become a major problem. The character trait of faithfulness is rare. Married people are unfaithful to their partners; employees and employers cheat one another; family members undermine each other; and people in general seldom keep their word. Businesses are particularly plagued with the problem of faithless employees, company thefts and broken contracts. Lying is now so commonplace that even Christians have become unfaithful in their dealings with others.
One of the biggest faults of many Christians is that we over-commit. Over-commitment undermines integrity by making it impossible to faithfully keep one's word. Company owners, motivated by greed, generate more business than they can handle. Rather than risk losing customers, they commit to jobs that they know they cannot meet the deadline for. Many companies consider it normal to have a continual backlog of past-due jobs. Business people must now factor in lengthy delays just to compensate for the general lack of business ethics. People tend to over-commit themselves out of pride or the desire to please, not knowing how to say no when asked for favors.
We are called to be like Jesus. God is faithful in all His ways. He is faithful, and keeps His word: every promise in the Bible. Through the empowering of the Holy Spirit, we can also maintain a high level of integrity. We can be good witnesses for Christ to all who know us; keeping our word and refreshing the soul of everyone who depends upon us.