A Spiritual Interpretation of the Old Testament
As taught by:
Unity School for Religious Studies
Unity Village, MO 64065
I. MAJOR POINTS
- Metaphysical meaning and main metaphysical message of Isaiah.
- Metaphysical meaning and main metaphysical message of Zephaniah.
- Metaphysical meaning and main metaphysical message of Micah.
- Metaphysical meaning and main metaphysical message of Habakkuk.
- Isaiah Chapters 1, 6, 9, 26, 30, 60; Zephaniah 2; Micah 6; Habakkuk 2
- Let There Be Light Chapters XIII - IXX
- Metaphysical Bible Dictionary—under headings for separate names of prophets.
- How does Isaiah express a sincere commitment to Spirit?
- How does Isaiah advocate the wisdom of non-resistance?
- What is the metaphysical significance of the Messianic prophecies?
- Does Micah teach that it is difficult to please God? If not, what does he teach?
- What does Habakkuk tell us about "divine appointments"?
The teacher will note that these course lessons dealing with the prophets do not follow the exact sequence in Let There Be Light. For this reason, the "READINGS" will simply refer to the entire body of chapters dealing with the prophets in Let There Be Light. Also, each prophet can be looked up separately in the Metaphysical Bible Dictionary.
In this and the following lessons of this interpretation course dealing with Old Testament prophets, we shall deal only with the metaphysical meanings of their names and certain of their statements which have DEFINITE METAPHYSICAL IMPORT.
If a student is interested in the more historical aspects of the prophets he may refer directly to either Mrs. Turner's Let There Be Light, or to any of numerous other fine books on the subject.
Also, some students may feel that this course should contain more statements from the prophets than those which have been chosen. Others may feel that too many have been included. In any case, the explanation is that only those statements which appeared to have a DIRECT CONNECTION with the Unity teachings have been included in this particular course.
"Jehovah is salvation;. . . deliverance of Jehovah. . . Meta. The higher self, that in which discerns the reality, the real character, of spiritual man, and fearlessly proclaims it; spiritual understanding." (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary 300)
"And I heard the voice of the Lord (Jehovah) saying, 'Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?' Then I said, 'Here am I! Send me.'" (Isa. 6:8)
This simple statement can be taken to constitute one of the purest affirmations of sincere willingness to make a commitment to Spirit. "Here am I! Send me." Or we might alter it slightly and affirm, Here am I God, USE me. When this simple statement is uttered from the heart it can cause a person to become a chosen instrument for any number of God's good purposes The whole universe cherishes a willing channel for the work of Spirit, and the rewards are indescribable.
"Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until the wrath is past." (Isa. 26:20)
This is a statement of true spiritual psychology, which is to be repeated in more elaborate fashion later by Jesus. Here, in gentle poetic language, Isaiah is illustrating what is often stated by others in a more harsh manner: DON'T REACT TO ANYTHING NEGATIVE BY BECOMING EVEN MORE NEGATIVE! Isaiah is really paraphrasing a statement used very often in Unity, which goes somewhat like this: Let us become still; turn within; and acknowledge the loving presence and power of God.
Isaiah is using the word "wrath" as we would use the word "negativity" in Unity. Let the negative pass. Do not connect your sense of I Am to any passing negative emotion. Let it pass and return to your own inner peace before you proceed.
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called 'Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God. Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.' Of the increase of his government and of oeace there will be no end. ..." (Isa. 9:6, 7)
This is the first great Messianic prophecy which has its actual outward manifestation as the birth of Jesus. But its inner meaning is for all persons and is universal and timeless.
This prophecy refers to that time when an individual has a newborn realization of the true nature of God as it can be expressed in and through man. It begins as a spark of inner realization (child) and develops into the greatest and highest of realizations within man. Before this illumination comes, God is usually thought of in strange anthropomorphic ways. He is powerful but stern. He is just but harsh. He is to be feared because of the harm He is capable of causing. This is very low-level religious thinking. But the Messiah is born eventually. The Messiah is a new realization about God. This is the concept of God revealed to us by Jesus, and this is the God worshipped in Unity.
"Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord (Jehovah): though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow. . . ." (Isa. 1:18)
Here we have in the Old Testament something that is seldom mentioned but is mentioned very frequently in the New Testament. It is one of the main spiritual points made by Jesus and given strong emphasis by Him. It is FORGIVENESS OF SINS. The statement as worded by Isaiah can be boiled down to its very essence, which is: sincere communion with God results in forgiveness of sins.
"For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust (confidence, KJV) shall be your strength."' (Isa. 30:15)
Every person has within himself a center of silence and stillness. The center of silence is the source of pure power. The center of stillness is pure strength. When we return to this inner center in preparation for meditation and prayer, we are once again connected to the source of all spiritual power and strength, and we are once again renewed and restored. Modern metaphysics teaches this basic principle in many ways, but here we have it in an ancient form in the words of the prophet Isaiah.
"Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord (Jehovah) has risen upon you." (Isa. 60:1)
A totally positive affirmation. Light is the symbol of divine illumi- nation and guidance. It only needs to be affirmed in order to be experi- enced. The prayer for illumination is always answered quickly and surely. In the New Testament, the writer of Ephesians repeats Isaiah's same idea in his statement: "Awake 0 sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light." (Eph. 5:14)
"Jehovah has hidden; secret place of Jehovah" Meta.: Truth active in the consciousness of the individual but hidden from the outer, sense chase of his being. (M.B.D. p.693)
'Seek the Lord (Jehovah), all you humble of one land, who do his commands; seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you may be hidden on the day of the wrath of the Lord (Jehovah)." (Zeph. 2:3)
This statement is a good example of the level of consciousness which the prophets in general symbolize in our spiritual unfoldment. They do not represent the Truth of high spiritual understanding. Nor do they represent all the crudities of literal or negative religious thinking. They represent a transitional phase of consciousness—emerging out of the old literalism and negativity and developing into an awareness of the greater light of Truth thinking.
This quotation from Zephaniah illustrates this transitional type of religious thinking. He is telling us that it IS possible to avoid certain negative outworkings of the law of cause and effect (the wrath of the Lord). He even tells us some of the ways we can do this (seek the Lord; seek righteousness; seek humility). He does not guarantee us that this will work ("you may be"), but he says that at least it is possible. Although this prophetic statement does not reach the level of truly realizing the forgiving love of God, it does at least point in that direction!
"Who is like unto Jehovah? Who can assimilate Jan?" Meta.: The individual's awakening to the truth of his real being, to the fact that in his real, true self he is spiritual. . . ." (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary 448)
"He (the Lord Jehovah) has showed you, 0 man, what is good; and what does the Lord (Jehovah) require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Mic. 6:8)
This is a classic example of how utterly simple pure Truth thinking can be. This is a metaphysical statement which does not need interpretation because it is not really symbolic. It is factual.
"embracing; infolding; a wrestler; a struggler" Meta.: The clearness of vision in us that, looking into the working of the thoughts of our consciousness, foresees their fruition and holds tightly to (embraces) that which is good and true, while it wrestles or struggles with the error in an attempt to purge it out." (Metaphysical Bible Dictionary 244)
"For still the vision awaits its time; it hastens to the end —it will not lie. If it seem slow, wait for it; it will surely come, it will not delay." (Hab. 2:3)
This statement might be termed: assurance that you have an appointment with a blessing! The vision mentioned is symbolic of either a goal in the mind or a desire in the heart. When the vision is sought through the help of God, its fulfillment is certain. We will receive the proper guidance ("it will not lie") and the timing for its fulfillment will be right ("it will not delay"). We are also cautioned to not get impatient or discouraged if the time factor entails a waiting period ("if it seem slow, wait for it"). Impatience has spoiled many an answer to prayer, but patience is a virtue which always pays off.
"... the Lord (Jehovah) is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him." (Hab. 2:20)
Here is another admonition to observe moments of silence. Silence is golden, especially inner silence. The realm of Spirit is silence. In silence the mightiest works of Spirit are done. One of the great obstacles to spiritual realization is unnecessary talking and noise making. This usually consists of an inner clamor of mostly negative dialogue, argument, promising, justifying, etc. Habakkuk tells us to "keep silence" and the law of our highest good (the Lord) will accomplish many wonderful things.
Preceding Entry: Old Testament Metaphysics 11: Lesson 11 Elijah and Elisha
Following Entry: Old Testament Metaphysics 13: Lesson 13 The Prophets Part 2