The death of Saul and his three sons, Jonathan (human love), Abinadab (physical will or body control), and Malchi-shua (the will as king of health or physical vitality and supply), means the dissolution of the whole organism. This is the result of disobedience to the Lord, or law of Being, and of trusting in personal will and strength to carry one through.
By continued disregard of the divine law, man gets farther and farther away from the interior harmony that is perpetually fed from the spiritual springs of Being. The discordant realms of error, sense thought, represented by the undisciplined and savage Philistines, encroach on the sacred abiding places of the thoughts of Truth, which are represented by the Israelites. Gilboa means boiling springs, and represents a great turmoil in consciousness. It is there that the enemies of law and order, the Philistines, finally get one who has all his life followed the dictates of the personal will. "So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armorbearer, and all his men, that same day together." The "armorbearer" signifies the soul's consciousness of its security in God; when that is withdrawn there is a complete loss of hope, and the whole personality gives up.
But there is always a saving grace in the divine goodness; if we have ever done a kind act it has been preserved in the careful records of memory and will come forth when we need it most. In the beginning of his reign Saul had delivered the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead from their enemies, the Amorites, who were about to put out their right eyes. In remembrance of the deed, the people of Jabesh-gilead took the bodies of Saul and his sons away from the Philistines, and gave them decent burial. Jabesh-gilead represents the forces of nature that gather up and care for the dust and ashes of the organism. Nothing is lost in the divine economy; that which is dissipated will in due course be gathered again, and another trial will be made in the working of life's problem.