Chapter VII: The Fruits of Faith
Genesis 20 Spiritually Interpreted
Gen. 20:1. And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the land of the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar.
The name Shur means "going round about," "wall," "fortification," "ox." Shur represents the never-ceasing progress, unfoldment, and development of man. In his evolution man has apparently always moved in cycles; but each time he comes again to his starting place he seems to be a little in advance of his former state. When he begins to awaken spiritually his progress is more rapid. There is also a thought of strength and might ("wall," "ox").
The name Kadesh means "pure," "bright," "holy," "sacred." Kadesh represents the inherently pure, sinless, perfect, ideal state in the depths of the consciousness of every individual.
How is faith developed in the spiritually awakening individual?
Abraham "dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar." Gerar symbolizes subjective substance and life. Abraham had on one hand Kadesh --the inherently pure, sinless, ideal state--and on the other hand Shut (unceasing progress) while he had his existence in Gerar (substance and life). Thus does faith (typified by Abraham) develop in the spiritually awakening individual.
Gen. 20:2-13. And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, She is my sister: and Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, Behold, thou art but a dead man, because of the woman whom thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife. Now Abimelech had not come near her: and he said, Lord, wilt thou slay even a righteous nation? Said he not himself unto me, She is my sister? and she, even she herself said, He is my brother: in the integrity of my heart and the innocency of my hands have I done this. And God said unto him in the dream, Yea, I know that in the integrity of thy heart thou hast
done this, and I also withheld thee from sinning against me: therefore suffered I thee not to touch her. Now therefore restore the man's wife; for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live: and if thou restore her not, know thou that thou shalt surely die, thou, and all that are thine.
And Abimelech rose early in the morning, and called all his servants, and told all these things in their ears: and the men were sore afraid. Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said unto him, What hast thou done unto us? and wherein have I sinned against thee, that thou hast brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? thou hast done deeds unto me that ought not to be done. And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake. And moreover she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife: and it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father's house, that I said unto her, This is thy kindness which thou shalt show unto me: at every place whither we shall come, say of me, He is my brother.
When faith makes union with the unregenerate will what is the result?
If spiritual faith through the affectional side of one's nature (Sarah) makes union with the controlling unregenerate will in the subconscious (Abimelech) there is a reversal of the progressive law and bodily ills (the plagues of Egypt) are brought forth, as we noted with reference to a previous experience of Abraham. (See interpretation of Gen. 12:10-20.) However in an instance like this, when faith, lacking understanding, would have repeated the error, the soul has progressed until the subconsciousness has come under the guidance of Spirit, and the plagues that came as a result
of a former mistake are not repeated on this occasion.
Abimelech (unregenerate will) was quickened to the point where he could receive instruction through dreams. Spirit revealed to Abimelech the true relationship between Abraham and Sarah, and thus he was saved from making an unlawful union.
When Abimelech (will) faced Abraham (pioneering faith) with the fact, Abraham admitted that he had lost sight of the possibilities of the divine omnipresence and was not aware that the all-knowing Spirit could penetrate into every consciousness. "Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place." Abraham and Sarah were of the same blood and therefore he said truly, "She is my sister."
Gen. 20:14-18. And Abimelech took sheep and oxen, and men-servants and women-servants, and gave them unto Abraham, and restored him Sarah his wife. And Abimelech said, Behold, my land is before thee: dwell where it pleaseth thee. And unto Sarah he said, Behold, I have given thy brother a thousand pieces of silver: behold, it is for thee a covering of the eyes to all that are with thee; and in respect of all thou art righted. And Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bare children. For Jehovah had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah, Abraham's wife.
How is one to avoid plagues during the process of transmutation?
This is a situation where there is apt to be contention between the soul and the body consciousness unless adjustment is made. Pioneering faith (Abraham) in union with the spiritual soul (Sarah) issues in a high realization of both soul and body. It is only the highest emanation of body consciousness that is ready for
transmutation, consequently there needs to be an equalizing and adjusting power to establish peace and safety in the body consciousness in order to avoid some form of plague. To teach this truth Abimelech (the ruling power that controls the substance side of man's being), his wife, and maidservants are represented as being unproductive for a season, but as being healed through faith (Abraham interceded with God).
Preceding Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 165-170: Genesis 19 Mysteries of Genesis
Following Entry: Mysteries of Genesis 175-181: Genesis 21 Mysteries of Genesis