METAPHYSICAL BIBLE INTERPRETATION OF THE OLD TESTAMENT
This is a series of lectures given by Mr. Edward Rabel, member of the faculty of S.M.R.S.
Fall semester 1975 - 2nd. Yr. Class. Lecture given on October 3, 1975
Gen. 16, pp. 117-118 of transcript.
Ishmael is Born
In Chapter 16, we get the first very strong emphasis made on a point, which recurs throughout the Old Testament. The great importance to the Bible characters of having a son. This is a constantly recurring theme throughout the O.T.; the prime importance of having a son, and this has a deep metaphysical meaning.
Producing a son symbolizes the developing of a new, added dimension of awareness. A newborn son is simply the bringing forth of a new dimension of awareness in consciousness. It represents a new step forward in spiritual unfoldment; a degree nearer to eventual awareness of our inner perfection. Each time a son is born to one of our O.T. characters it stands for a new awareness reached in our growth toward true spiritual awareness.
Although no character in the O.T. symbolizes true spiritual awareness. None. All represent merely different degrees leading toward it. Only in Jesus have we a symbol who is pure spiritual awareness, but all the others are degrees of it, aspects leading toward it.
So, this is why the Bible characters are depicted as making such a serious thing out of having sons. Even on a strictly literal, historical level, this has importance because each new son, genealogically speaking, brings us by narrative closer and closer to the eventual page that will contain the character of Jesus. So, Abram and Sarai were so eager to have this son, that Sarai gives Abram permission to copulate with her maid, Hagar, and produce a son, which he does.
It works, but that son is not the promised son, in other words, that kind of production in consciousness is not in accord with Divine Order, orderly unfoldment. It is forcing the issue, to get a result, but that result can turn out to be a thorn in the flesh, as many people who have dealt with the psychic can testify. Through psychic manipulations some persons can force into existence before their time, certain powers, certain abilities.
Spoon bending is the big thing these days. It used to be past lifetime readings and in some people it was fortune telling. This was not part of the orderly unfoldment of spiritual consciousness through the methods of Truth, prayer, meditation, loving, forgiving, receiving, oftentimes this would entail certain disciplines and concentrations of determination and will-power, which would be symbolized very much as Hagar, in this case, and results are gotten, but since it was not according to a pattern of orderly unfoldment, but a forcing of an issue, something would go out of kilter.
In this case, we get a son, but this son is Ishmael, and he becomes the founder of a whole line of troublemakers for the Jewish people. He was the first in a long line of enemy nations and tribes who constantly were making war on the Jews.
Now can you see metaphysically that a lot of times when we through willfulness and selfishness, force the bringing forth of certain things that are not according to the Divine Plan within us, we can get back certain results, we can become Hitlers, or we can develop certain talents that can turn on us and rend us. Casting pearls before swine will do this, so this little episode was not too wise, but still it wasn't too bad, although Ishmael did cause a lot of trouble.
Transcribed by Margaret Garvin on February 24, 2015.