Saul’s Failure or A Lesson on Obedience
Charles Fillmore in Unity Auditorium, June 6.
Referring to the story of Abraham and Sarah, Paul says, “which thing is an allegory.” Here we have the authority from one of the leading apostles that at least the story of Abraham and Sarah is an allegory. Sometimes we need a little authority like that to help us out.
In our lesson this morning, we read in one Samuel, 15th chapter, of Saul’s failure. King Saul, representing the undisciplined will, had failed to obey the commandments of Jehovah.
“And Samuel said unto Saul, Jehovah sent me to anoint thee to be king over his people, over Israel: now therefore hearken thou unto the voice of the words of Jehovah. Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, I have marked that which Amalek did to Israel, how he set himself against him in the way, when he came up out of Egypt. Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”
“But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them.”
“And Samuel came to Saul; and Saul said unto him, ‘Blessed be thou of Jehovah: I have performed the commandment of Jehovah.’ And Samuel said, ‘What meaneth then the bleating of the sheep in mine ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?’ And Saul said, ‘They have brought them from the Amalekites: for the people spared the best of the sheep and of the oxen to sacrifice unto Jehovah thy God; and the rest we have utterly destroyed.’”
”And Samuel said, ‘Though thou waste little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel?’ And Jehovah anointed thee king over Israel; and Jehovah sent thee on a journey and said, ‘Go, and utterly destroy the sinners the Amalekites, and fight against them until they be consumed. And therefore didst thou not obey the voice of Jehovah, but didst fly upon the spoil, and didst that which was evil in the sight of Jehovah?’”
The Amalekites, a tribe of people who symbolizes in human consciousness lustful thoughts, and those kind of lustful thoughts that are not open and receptive to the light of Spirit, had been warring against the children of Israel, or our real spiritual thoughts.
The command of Jehovah was to destroy this tribe, this aggregation of thought forces, not even leaving any of the animals; even the women and children were to be slain. Saul fulfilled the law except a few which the people saved for sacrifice. The meaning of Agag is warlike.” Samuel was quick to see the Kaiser spirit in Saul, and made plain to him that through his disobedience he was rejected of Jehovah, that Jehovah had rejected him as king over Israel. Then Samuel ordered that Agag, the King of Amalekites, be brought out before him. Then Samuel said unto him, “As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women.” And Samuel hacked Agag to pieces.
This biblical history is distressing to one who thinks of God as love, but we know that nearly all the Scripture is allegorical. Most of the Old Testament is accounts of battles going on, of nations warring against nations, and of bloodshed, but it is never to be taken literally. It is symbolical of the killing out of the natural forces, that the life and intelligence and substance in them may be lifted up on a higher plane of consciousness. The Greek mythology is, in its last analysis, symbolical. They had a method or system of interpreting myths and mythical deities, each myth and each God representing a certain force in consciousness. Now, we know that all these things are symbolical, though they may have a basis of truth in the outer. But these things represent thoughts in the mind of man.
The Amalekites were “dwellers of the vale.” What is this vale? It is the vale of thought below the conscious mind. It is the vale of activity in the body. And what is it? It is the animal nature; it is the animal nature we are dealing with and analyzing in this lesson.
Samuel is the secret voice in every one of us; Saul is the will. He is the King. The will in man should always be led by the Spirit of Truth. We should be so familiar with the law of mind that we know what the law is from an inner listening attitude – and that is Samuel. He knows the law, but he doesn’t direct the activity. He is not the executive law in man. Saul is the executive power, and the law must have recognition and power in every part of the organism. If you don’t have power and dominion, you are not in full power.
In regeneration, there are two processes going on continually: under the Divine Will the corruptible puts on the incorruption, and the animal propensities are sloughed off. The man becomes more and more alive in Spirit. But Jehovah wants compliance with the law. We can all lay hold of this law, if we will, and obedience is necessary to demonstrate the law. In mechanics don’t we find that the law exists long before man discovered it? In every phase of the mechanical world it is necessary first to recognize that the law is there, and then make the machinery to comply with it. The same way with electricity. To be able to get the light and power out of electricity, we must be obedient to its laws, and be able to produce the apparatus through which it can be handled constructively.
The majority of people think it is a real task to be a good Christian. You are naturally good; all you have to do is to understand the law of God, and then you can comply with the law. Someone has wisely said, “Obedience unto the law is liberty.” Now, Jesus Christ made the same statement nearly 2000 years ago when he said, “Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” In other words he was saying, “You shall be obedient to the truth and through it you shall have liberty.” That is true. In the first instance the statement, “Obedience unto the law is liberty,” referred to the man-made law, but the same law is true on the spiritual plane, as Jesus taught. The old Jews tried to follow the letter of the law to the extent that they crushed out the spirit. Set forms and ceremonies were their whole religion. Jesus said to them, “You are in bondage to your law.” They said, “We have one father, even God.” Jesus said, “If God were your father, ye would love me… Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is our will to do… He is a liar and the father there of.” Now, these were rather hard statements, for Jesus represents love, but he saw their need and spoke to them plain facts.
There are those who have objected to prohibition for the reason that they considered that they were not free to choose as they desired. But Jesus said, “You are a bondservant to the thing you serve.” This is true of every one of us. We are in bondage to sense consciousness, unless we raise our consciousness up to the spiritual plane. There is a universal law of Good, and when man knows this and accepts it, he is free as Christ is free. If we are living under the spiritual law, we do not come under the law of the land. All the laws of the land are set at naught by following the higher law. The highest form of liberty of which man can conceive is to know and apply the higher law. What is the law? It is to know the right relation of ideas. The laws of God are made clear to man through his mind, and this comes to him through obedience. Man is like the planetary bodies; he has his periods of action and then of rest. You can always tell when the stars are going to bring themselves into objectiveness. You can follow them down to the finest details and know. Why cannot we put man under this same law?
Every hair of the head is numbered; the law is to be obeyed in every detail. But we get off the track; we disregard the law, and like Adam we get away from God. We should think methodically. We should know that our thinking is the most alive thing that is, and that it is the power back of the visible, which shapes and forms our lives. We should group our ideas and know the true value of constructing thought power. This is the source of the greatest liberty there is-- obedience to the law of thought power. When people learn this law, all shall be free; none shall be bound.
The more restricted we make religious organizations, the less liberty we have. We find it is necessary to constantly educate people along this line. It has been the history of religious sects and creeds that as they proceed to expand and enlarge, they get together and formulate certain rules and regulations which all must live up to. The consequence is they are soon following the letter of their religion, following certain forms and ceremonies, rather than the living word. But those who are living close to spirit, listening for the inner inspiration in light, do away more and more with outer organizations. The true organization is the inner church of Christ, and each child of God is a member. We have on this earth this Divine law, and man must organize himself under the law of the Christ, if he would know absolute freedom. The Christ is the perfect man idea, and when we began to affirm our unity with this idea transformation takes place, not only in mind, but in body. Paul said, “For as the body is one and hath many members, and all the members of the body, being many, are one body; so also is Christ.”
We may all be members, but it is through the mind that we come into Divine order; it is through obedience to the law that the light which makes clear our inheritance shines out within the soul. When we recognize the Christ law as we do the law of the land, we shall have freedom. Everyone will do just what he wishes to do.
Anarchists have caught sight of the idea each one can do just what he wants to do, but not recognizing the spiritual law, they disregard the rights of others, and upheavals and chaos result. They do not understand the law which brings about perfect harmony.
Through the harmonious action of the law, we have all riches. God is inexhaustible riches to those who understand his law. God is all Good, constantly pouring out upon us all knowledge. It is our part to be obedient to the law; to be so alert that the Word will become active in every part of our being. When we are alive to the Word, we thrill with life just by thinking about life; the wonderful life eternal here and now. Through being obedient to life, we get the larger consciousness of life. So it is throughout the whole universe. Freedom comes to one through knowing the law and doing it.Transcribed by Paula Schneider on June 29, 2018.