Chapter VII: The Fruits of Faith
Genesis 22 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 22:1-18. And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham; and he said, Here am I. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou lovest, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt-offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. And Abraham rose early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son; and he clave the wood for the burnt-offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him. On the third day Abraham lifted up his eyes, and saw the place afar off. And Abraham said unto his young men, Abide ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder; and we will worship, and come again to you. And Abraham took the wood of the burnt-offering, and laid it upon Isaac his son; and he took in his hand the fire and the knife; and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold, the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt-offering? And Abraham said, God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt-offering, my son: so they went both of them together.
And they came to the place which God had told them of; and Abraham built the altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar, upon the wood. And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And the angel of Jehovah called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thy hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him; for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me. And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt-offering in the stead of his son. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of Jehovah it shall be provided. And the angel of Jehovah called unto Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said, By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah, because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply
thy seed as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
What do we really lose and what do we gain when we give up sense pleasures?
The story of the near sacrifice of Isaac illustrates the truth that we must be willing to give up the pleasures of sense without question if we are to have the consciousness of the greater satisfactions of Spirit. Being willing and obedient in submitting our sensations to the law of Spirit, we then find that we do not at all sacrifice the real inner joy but only its coarser expression in physical generation (which is represented by the ram).
What in consciousness is represented by the "land of Moriah," and how may it be productive of good?
It seemed to Abraham that the law of Spiritual growth demanded the slaying of Isaac, the whole consciousness of joy. At various stages of unfoldment there are trials as well as triumphs, and those who have but a transient faith in the wisdom and power of Spirit are apt to give up and turn back before the process is complete. (Abraham did not turn back.) Moriah, the name of the land where Abraham was sent to make his sacrifice, signifies the "bitterness of Jehovah." So we find that the changes that take place in consciousness sometimes are bitter experiences, and it takes a strong faith to believe that good will come out of them. Yet it always does come when there is steadfast obedience to God and faith in His goodness. The successful meeting of such trials gives great power to the body and brings a sure reward. Abraham became the father of a multitude as numerous "as the stars of the heavens, and as the sand which is upon the sea-shore."
The child was not sacrificed although Abraham took every step in preparation. After he had successfully passed this test, the angel of the Lord repeated the promise of the covenant: "By myself have I sworn, saith Jehovah . . . and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice."
In the regeneration man must be willing to sacrifice his greatest pleasure in life (Isaac). But when he has given up willingly, made the spiritual surrender, he finds that it is not the joy of life that he sacrifices but only the sensuous aspect of joy.
What is the fruit of faith and obedience to divine law?
Faith in God (Abraham) and obedience to the divine law brings forth a serene peace and joy. Christians well know that the development of faith and obedience does cause one to become inwardly happy and outwardly serene. Jesus had this inward happiness, and He tried to pass it on to His disciples: "These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full."
What or who is the real source of prosperity? What state of mind results in a demonstration of prosperity?
The name Jehovah-jireh means "Jehovah will see," "Jehovah will behold," "Jehovah will provide." It signifies "I am the provider." If we expect to demonstrate prosperity from without, we find it a slow process; but if we know that the I AM is the provider, we have the key to the inexhaustible resource.
Gen. 22:19. So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.
The two young men represent masculine forces that have been trained for service under the supervision of pioneering faith.
Beer-sheba represents the establishing of a right relationship in consciousness between the spiritual and the seemingly material. Faith (Abraham) and the young masculine thoughts dwell in the state of consciousness represented by Beer-sheba, and it is in the light of this fact that the following incidents are to be understood.
Gen. 22:20-24. And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying, Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto thy brother Nahor: Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram, and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel. And Bethuel begat Rebekah: these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she also bare Tebah, and Gaham, and Tahash, and Maacah.
What characterizes the soul of man on its feminine side?
Milcah represents the soul in its function of expressing dominion, wisdom, and good judgment. The soul of man on its feminine side is intuitional and often perceives or senses things that, while they are not perceived by the outer or more active and positive part of the individual consciousness, should be heeded by it.
What attitude of mind is productive of a new line of thought?
Nahor symbolizes a piercing and breaking up of the individual sense consciousness hitherto unpenetrated by Truth so that a new line of thought may be brought forth.
Nahor and Milcah united to produce eight children (states of consciousness), whose names are interpreted here.
(For Uz see interpretation of Gen. 10.)
The name Buz means "despicable," "contempt," "despised." Buz represents a scornful, scoffing state of thought, which is despicable in the light of Truth.
The name Kemuel means "God stands," "God's righteousness." Kemuel symbolizes the righteousness and judgment of God in the process of becoming ascendant in individual consciousness, of growing and taking a firmer hold; also of bringing about a closer union of the true, higher, spiritual thoughts of the mind in order to establish the adjustment that is needed for the further progress of the individual.
The name Chesed means "an astrologer," "a magus," "wisdom." Chesed represents a certain type of wisdom, a wisdom that is psychical in its nature rather than spiritual.
The name Hazo means "vision," "revelation," "agreement." The arousing of a higher desire in man (Nahor) through the activity of faith (Abraham) causing the piercing of the darkness of material belief and opens the way for a new and clearer insight into Truth. This new insight is symbolized by Hazo.
The name Pildash means "flame of fire." Pildash represents zeal, ardor, the result of a quickening that has taken place in consciousness.
The name Jidlaph means "dropping," "distilling," "tearful." Jidlaph represents a very negative type of thought in man.
The name Bethuel means "dweller in God," "abode of God." Bethuel represents unity with God; a conscious abiding in Him.
Rebekah (the name of Bethuel's daughter) means "tying firmly," "snare," "beauty that ensnares." Rebekah represents the soul's natural delight in beauty.
Reumah (the name of Nahor's concubine means "lofty," "sublime," "pearl." Reumah symbolizes the soul or feminine principle in man elevated to a place
of appreciation, of high esteem, in consciousness.
By Reumah, Nahor had four children, whose names are given here.
The name Tebah means "slaughter," "slaying," "life guard." Tebah represents an active thought of or strong belief in self-defense ("life guard") that is very destructive ("slaughter," i. e., of animals or persons).
The name Gaham means "flaming," "burning," "charring." Gaham symbolizes the heat of sense consciousness brought to a climax, a focus, and burning itself out. This is caused by the higher desires (Nahor and Reumah) that have been aroused by the awakening of faith (Abraham) in the individual. Thus a reaction sets in, the whole consciousness revolts against sense beliefs, and a measure of purification is accomplished.
The name Tahash means "burrowing," "diving," "ram." Tahash symbolizes an increase of life activity in the organism but an activity more of the animal than the spiritual kind.
The name Maacah means "squeezed," "compressed." Maacah represents an oppressively aggressive character. He is of the outer sense man.
(For Aram see interpretation of Gen. 10:27-32.)
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 175-181: Genesis 21 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 188-189: Chapter VIII: The Mental Supplants the Physical