Metaphysical meaning of Saul (mbd)
Saul, the first king of Israel, represents the will functioning in the limitations of personality. The will should be anointed or inspired by judgment, but in its development it often asserts its own initiative and is thereby defeated in its leadership.
Saul was a child of nature. Had he lived in this country he would have been called a cowboy. He was hunting his father's drove of asses and, not finding them, dropped in to consult Samuel, a prophet, who was also evidently a finder of lost property. Samuel was impressed with the young man and, being informed by the Lord that Saul should be made king, the prophet anointed him.
Saul signifies personal will. He represents the consciousness in its natural estate. It is willful and stubborn, shy and impulsive, yet very brave under great stress. When first chosen as king Saul was very humble; and true humility is one of the first qualifications for spiritual leadership. The will is a very complex phase of the mind, however, and its paradoxes often perplex the most acute. The character of Saul has always been a puzzle to Bible students and ministers.
When the personal will is wholly given to sense life it is a Gentile. When it recognizes Jehovah and has a semblance of spiritual understanding it is an Israelite. Saul was recognized by the Lord and selected by Him to be king; yet Saul did not adhere strictly to the spiritual law. He consulted soothsayers and mediums, when he could not at once get a response from the Lord.
People who are under the dominion of personality are very liable to be led away from Truth, through a desire to know temporal things instead of eternal. When we are very anxious to know the future, and slyly seek the so-called wisdom of a medium or clairvoyant, we are under the dominion of wavering human will. When we are sure of our premise in God we do not fear the outcome, and we always know that we shall succeed in every good work; there is then no temptation to go to a fortune teller for advice.
The conflict between Saul and David represents the war in man between the head and the heart, personal will and divine love, for control. The will functioning in sense consciousness would destroy its own soul (Jonathan) and innate love (David).
Neither Saul nor Jonathan was wholly dedicated to the Lord. They stood alone in personal consciousness, and Saul's insanity was the epilepsy that accompanies excessive personality. Jonathan's love for David was personal--he was not in spiritual understanding. Not having the resource of Spirit, personal will and personal consciousness grow weaker and weaker until the Philistines, representing thoughts in open rebellion against all spiritual law, destroy them.
On one side Saul was open to Spirit and was often guided by Jehovah. But he was not loyal to Jehovah. When his error thoughts obscured his inspiration and the Almighty answered him not "by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets," Saul disguised himself and went to the woman at Endor that had "a familiar spirit" (see I Sam. 28). Saul had the woman call up Samuel, just as mediums do in this day, and she told Saul what the prophet said. Had Saul followed the law he would have waited patiently on the Lord until he got his answer direct. When we place anybody or anything between ourselves and our indwelling Lord we weaken our power, and adverse thoughts overwhelm us just as they did Saul.
Saul, in the individual consciousness, means the executive power of the mind, that in us which directs and leads our spiritual thoughts into a larger degree of freedom. Saul represents divine will only as man apprehends and uses it in personal leadership.
David represents love. He was the well-beloved of the Lord. His constancy, his faithfulness to his friends, his universal kindness and charity, all prove the predominance of the love quality in his nature. But David was not able to manifest the unselfish love of our Savior, Jesus Christ. David demonstrated up to the point where he could say of the Lord, "my shepherd"; Jesus came to the place in consciousness where His unselfish love reached out and encompassed all people, where He could say, "our Father."
Solomon represents the wisdom of Spirit; he typifies that in us which is able to turn within and make conscious at-one-ment with the light of Spirit. Solomon was not able, however, to express the full light of Spirit. By allying himself with heathenish tribes, for the sake of peace, he opened the way for the inflow of the unenlightened forces that eventually divided his kingdom.
The great lesson to be gleaned from a close study of the lives of Saul, David, and Solomon is that to continue to unfold spiritually and to be successful one must live very close to Spirit and must be always humble and obedient before the Lord. Outer success and personal glory tend to make one all-sufficient to himself, and this mental attitude shuts off the light of Spirit. Knowing that all power is from the Lord, and being always willing to do the unselfish act for the good of all, one insures for oneself an eternal kingdom of peace and happiness that can never be divided against itself.
Saul of Tarsus, who was later called Paul and was an apostle of Jesus Christ, signifies the will. By the power of the will we plant in every part of the consciousness a spiritual potency that has within it all the possibilities of its God source. This divine seed is the word of Truth, which will spring up after many days.
Saul, before his conversion (Acts 9:1, 2), represents one who is zealous in his search for God but is so filled with the religious ideas that have been inculcated by his previous training that he resists the true Christ understanding.
Saul on his way to Damascus (sack of blood) to persecute the Christians represents the fanatical will filled with zeal to destroy everything that opposes its traditional religion. In Acts 22:3, 6:10, and Philippians 3:7-14, Saul represents the obedience of the will and its acceptance of the word of Truth.
The will must be dealt with in every movement, because it is the very essence of self-consciousness. The conversion and the work of Saul of Tarsus fill a large place in Bible history. Saul represents in this symbology the human will. In all permanent character building the action of the will is based on understanding Will and understanding go hand in hand. They are the Ephraim and Manasseh of Scripture, whose allotment in the Promised Land was in joint ownership.
The conversion of Saul was preceded by a great light of spiritual understanding. Saul (asked for, wished, demanded) typifies the will in its personal dominance. In this unregenerate state it recognizes no master or guide save self-gratification, and it grows large in its own conceit. King Saul is a type of this unregenerate will. Mystics say that he was a former incarnation of Saul of Tarsus. After the discovery that there is a wisdom greater than that of the personal will, its name is changed to Paul, which means little, and it is converted from the violent and oppressive persecutor of things spiritual to the devout and obedient champion of the humble Christ.