Last August, a group of women gathered for our first Australian New Church Women’s Weekend together. That was such a success that, in early March this year, we did it again! Both times we shared delicious home-made meals, fun ice-breaker games, insightful instruction on a woman from the Bible and other spiritual topics, relaxing & enlightening meditations, a charitable project, fresh air & sunshine and down-time to develop relationships with old friends and new acquaintances. The woman from the Bible whom we studied this March was Rebekah. Below is the essence of what was presented; it’s kind of heavy, but hopefully informative. It might be helpful to read Genesis chapters 24-27 to familiarise yourself with the different parts of the story as it is presented in the Bible.
The internal sense of this story is about the process of conjunction of good and truth in the Lord’s Divine Human. Rebekah represents the Divine truth that was to be conjoined with Divine good (Isaac) of His rational. Rebekah, before they were betrothed, stands for the love of truth from doctrinal things, in other words in thought but not yet in action.
Rebekah’s drawing water for Abraham’s servant’s camels and giving them to drink has to do with enlightenment in a person’s natural level, i.e. gaining factual knowledge. Her being sent away from her family (going with the servant) is about truth being elevated and separated from the natural, which happens when a person doesn’t look from truth to good any more (knowing what is right and doing it), but from good to truth (doing it because she loves it, and recognises it as true). Here’s a concrete example: ‘don’t hate’: first we do it because we know we shouldn’t, and eventually we truly love and believe and live it, not because we’re told but because we love it; it’s lifted out of the natural.
After marrying, Rebekah was at first barren; this is about Divine good and Divine truth existing in the Lord, but their not yet being conjoined. On our level, when we’re being regenerated, we have good will to our neighbour, but not from love, only from truth (not because we love doing it, only because we know it’s the right thing to do; it’s in our heads, not in our hearts). The internal and external parts of ourselves fight, which is why we aren’t yet regenerate; our rational is barren as to truth. Isaac entreated Jehovah and she conceived twins, Jacob & Esau, who struggled within her. These two are about the conception and birth of the Divine natural, which is good (represented by Esau) and truth (Jacob).
Isaac lied to King Abimelech about Rebekah, saying that she was his sister, not his wife. This is about it being impossible to disclose Divine truths to people because, basically, it would blow their minds! Consequently the truths are hidden, sort of ‘dumbed down’. For example, regarding space & distance in heaven: there is no space or distance in heaven, it’s about states, but we’re given the impression that these do exist – the appearance of truth – because we wouldn’t be able to make sense of it, otherwise. Rebekah was described as ‘good to look upon’ because we like, we can grasp, the appearance of truths.
Fast-forwarding to the part of the story in which Rebekah got Jacob to trick his father into giving him Esau’s blessing, this is because intellectual things (Jacob) need to be first, in order for us to learn what real good is. It is the inverse of how it ultimately ought to be, but it’s the way it needs to be, initially. She helped Jacob because she loved Jacob more, because the truth of the rational, which she represents, loves the truth of the natural, which Jacob represents, whereas the good of the rational (Isaac) loves the good of the natural (Esau).
This is the last we read of Rebekah in the Bible – her death isn’t recorded, except to say that she was buried in the Cave of Machpelah together with Isaac, Abraham, Sarah and Leah. Her ‘gathering with the fathers’ represents putting things in order, which is the process and end-goal of regeneration.
This women’s weekend received good reviews, once again – so much so that we’re already looking ahead to another wonderful women’s weekend in September! Please let Jenn know if you’d like to be on the email list for that one. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
‘Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them!’