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O SON OF MAN!
Every one of the Hidden Words, as the title suggests, has many mystical meanings. Each of Baha’u’llah’s beautiful, poetic and abstruse passages contains multiple messages for humanity.
In this short Hidden Word, Baha’u’llah speaks from at least two different perspectives – as the voice of the Supreme Being addressing all humanity; and as the Prophet of God speaking to the reader as an individual.
In the first level of spiritual meaning, the phrase “deny not My servant” refers directly to the Prophets and Manifestations, the Founders of the world’s great Faiths. Those Messengers, the carriers of God’s continuing revelation to us all, truly function as God’s servants, His educators and emissaries. They proclaim God’s will to humankind, do His bidding, deliver His light — and suffer as a result. The Baha’i teachings say that each of those Manifestations – Krishna, Abraham, Moses, Buddha, Christ, Muhammad and now Baha’u’llah – have the same essential mission and the same essential spirit:
The Bearers of the Trust of God are made manifest unto the peoples of the earth as the Exponents of a new Cause and the Revealers of a new Message. Inasmuch as these Birds of the celestial Throne are all sent down from the heaven of the Will of God, and as they all arise to proclaim His irresistible Faith, they, therefore, are regarded as one soul and the same person. For they all drink from the one Cup of the love of God, and all partake of the fruit of the same Tree of Oneness.
These Manifestations of God have each a twofold station. One is the station of pure abstraction and essential unity. In this respect, if thou callest them all by one name, and dost ascribe to them the same attributes, thou hast not erred from the truth.
…The other station is the station of distinction, and pertaineth to the world of creation, and to the limitations thereof. In this respect, each Manifestation of God hath a distinct individuality, a definitely prescribed mission, a predestined revelation, and specially designated limitations. Each one of them is known by a different name, is characterized by a special attribute, fulfils a definite mission, and is entrusted with a particular Revelation. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, pp. 50-51.
When God sends a new revelation to humanity, we receive an outpouring of grace, power and inspiration. The Prophet who serves as the founder and fountainhead of that new revelation has multiple stations, and speaks from multiple points of view – as God Himself, as a Messenger of God, and as a servant of humanity:
Thus it is that whatsoever be their utterance, whether it pertain to the realm of Divinity, Lordship, Prophethood, Messengership, Guardianship, Apostleship, or Servitude, all is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 53.
In this Hidden Word, God asks humanity to recognize the voice of His Messengers, and not to deny any of those Messengers. Remaining faithful to one Prophet, Baha’u’llah tells us, means remaining faithful to the same spirit that animates all the Messengers of God.
And in another way, this Hidden Word asks all humanity to recognize the face of God and His Messengers in every person, to love and relate to the spark of divinity, nobility and humanity in every person:
If the learned and worldly-wise men of this age were to allow mankind to inhale the fragrance of fellowship and love, every understanding heart would apprehend the meaning of true liberty, and discover the secret of undisturbed peace and absolute composure. – Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 259.
In the face of every human being, Baha’u’llah tells us, we can see the face of the Creator.