Thursday, July 3, 2008
Abraham’s Knot of Faith
A while back a wrote a post titled “Tying The Knot.” In that post I wrote:
“Some ancients thought of the plan of salvation as three worlds or kingdoms stacked one above the other. Spanning these three worlds was a rope descending from the highest kingdom bringing connection to the lower worlds. Each of the three worlds is tied to the rope by a knot, and the knot is fastened with a nail (Vav). The temple is a knot symbolizing the connecting place between the worlds. Each level of temple worship has an altar which represents the Vav or nail in that world”
The Zohar is a medieval attempt to pass on the oral teachings of the Jews in story form. It teaches about Abraham preparing to go down into Egypt, a sinful place. Abraham was fearful that it was like a spiritual pit from which he would not be able to escape. We read:
“So Abraham cleaved to faith when he went down to Egypt and when he went to the land of the Philistines. This can be compared to a person who was about to descend into a deep pit. He was afraid he would not be able to come back up. What did he do? He tied a length of rope above the pit, saying ‘since I have tied this knot, now I can enter.’ Similarly, when Abraham was about to go down to Egypt, he first tied a knot of faith, so he would have something to grasp; then he descended. Likewise when he entered the land of the Philistines.” (The Zohar, Matt vol. 2, pg 165, Va-Yera)
Abraham feared for his spiritual welfare. As a lifeline, he clung to the “knot of faith” that he created. What was that knot? It was his covenant, his endowment, inheritance, or the promise of deification.
We see in the Book of Abraham that that is exactly what happened. When Abraham left Ur, God appeared to him and:
- Gave Abraham the priesthood.
- Blessed him with eternal seed.
- Gave him land.
These blessings are described in Abraham chapter 2. Chapters 3 through 5 are excerpts of Abraham's teaching of creation that correspond to their temple covenants. These covenants and blessings are the “knot” that Abraham held to in a troubled time.
When we feel ourselves descending into a spiritual pit, do we hold to our knot, our covenants, our temple inherence? We need to reach up, take ahold of our knot, and pull ourselves up, from time to time.