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David and The Temple Pattern
The Shepherd King

   Now Samuel did that which the Lord spoke and journeyed to Bethlehem. There the Elders, among whom was Jesse, came to greet him; and with him were his sons. When Samuel looked upon one called Eliab he was struck with the perfection of the youth's body which fulfilled every requirement of the priestly laws: "Surely the Lord's anointed is before me," he thought. But at that moment he heard the unmistakable accents of the Angel of the Lord speaking into the interior ear of the soul: "Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart."

   An occult admonition reads, "Look not on the often unprepossessing exteriors of our brothers but seek to serve the divine essence hidden within." The personality, whether attractive or forbidding, is not always an accurate index to character.

   Eliab being rejected, Jesse made Abinadab, Shammah and seven other sons pass before Samuel successively, and each in turn was subjected to the piercing scrutiny of his spiritual vision; but at last Samuel said, "The Lord hath not chosen these. Are here all thy children?" To which Jesse replied, "There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep." Samuel said, "Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down until he come hither." Jesse accordingly sent a messenger to seek the boy David who was watching the sheep, and he brought him in. "Now he was ruddy, and withal of a beautiful countenance, and goodly to look to. And the Lord said, Arise, anoint him: for this is he." Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him, and the Spirit of the Lord was upon David from that day forward.

   In the New Testament we read how when John the Baptist first saw Jesus he did not recognize him as the Christ; for John himself confessed: "And I knew him not, but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God" (John 1:33-34).

   If, therefore, even so advanced a prophet as John the Baptist could not discern by physical sight alone that Jesus was the Messiah, how much less are we able to judge the quality of a soul from its exterior vestments? It was by spiritual revelation that John knew Jesus as the Christ, and it was by spiritual revelation that Samuel knew David as the Shepherd-King.

   David is described as "ruddy", and this signifies in Hebrew that he was not of the dark complexioned type so common among southern oriental countries, but had the fair skin and auburn hair belonging to the more northern races.

   In the symbol-tongue of the Scripture, which is an outpicturing direct from angelic consciousness, sheep symbolize certain spiritual attributes: "Behold he keepeth the sheep" — a sign of David's preparation for his high calling. During the lonely watches under the stars, and while tending sheep, this beautiful boy found the inspiration by which he later wrote many sublime songs which have come down to us only in fragments, but even these move the soul to its uttermost depths. Countless millions of human beings have sung his songs the world over. Truly for him "the heavens declared the glory of God", and amid the silences and spaces of nature he learned to "lift his heart to the hills" from whence came his strength.

   David means "the beloved." He was beautiful of countenance, but beautiful also of soul: "Anoint him, for this is he." A legend says that the drops of the anointing oil from Samuel's horn poured down of their own accord, and as they touched David's garments they were changed into pearls and diamonds while the horn remained full as before.

   What is the source of such legends? They come from the soul world, as do the myths of all peoples, and they are literally the language of that world. Occultly they are called "picture-language" and they are the fruitage of a particular state of consciousness which will one day be the possession of the entire race, but in a far-off time termed by occultists the Jupiter Period. It is therefore designated the Jupiter Picture-Consciousness, and by its means man will communicate directly by mental pictures and by mental telepathy.

   It is known to occultists that in the soul world our material happenings may have a far different appearance than they have here; for there they portray a state of consciousness. Thus when the legend tells us that the anointing oil changed into pearls and diamonds as it touched David's garments we are to understand that that was the way in which the ceremony appeared to the spiritual vision of the seer. Such spiritual perception of common events transforms Earth into fairyland, and a handful of dead leaves is envisioned as pure gold, as in the fairy tales of Europe.

   The horn of oil which remained full is the Hebrew version of the Cornucopia associated in Greek legend with the birth of Dionysus, whose life in many respects parallels that of Moses and Jesus. One of the supreme lessons of physical evolution is that the love-nature may be linked with Spirit instead of with the desires of the fleshly nature, which, united, seek ever for personal benefit alone. Love united with Spirit seeks only to serve, to give in order that others may grow thereby. It is free and untrammeled, knowing no limitations of personality or surroundings.

   The incidents in the biblical narrative of the life of David indicate the vicissitudes of the spiritually dedicated — the struggles, the temptations and eventual victory of love as it triumphs over carnal desires and resumes once again its rightful estate as the supreme manifestation of God in man, bringing us into the full expression of the glory and honor of sons of the Most High.

   Saul's temptations and failures were the same as those of most leaders. His egotism had been inflated through the adulation bestowed upon him, and his personal ambition stimulated by conquest and victory.

   Samuel represents the inner voice which every neophyte must learn to hear and obey. Saul typifies the lower reasoning mind that refuses to heed the admonitions of the spirit. David, the successor of Saul, represents the power of love.

   In the Davidic line we observe the beginnings of a thousand-year age of preparation for the coming of the Supreme King and the founding of His Eternal Kingdom upon Earth.

   Bethlehem was the sacredly prepared birth place of the first Shepherd King, as it was later to be the birth place of Jesus, the Christ Shepherd, Joseph and Mary had gone up to this little town to register themselves as members of the House of David when the momentous Event occurred.

   The "little town of Bethlehem" was truly a fitting shrine for David, the first king to bear the Shepherd's Crook, a sign of the new Dispensation of the Lamb. The insignia of his calling was intimated by his father Jesse when he said, "He is keeping the sheep." Later, when the perfected flower of the Davidic line came to birth in Bethlehem he, too, declared His calling and His mission when He said: "I am the good Shepherd and all my sheep know my voice."

   David's father and brothers, though they witnessed the ceremony of the anointing (the dedication of the life to the quest of the spirit), had no real conception of its meaning. Saul continued powerful on his throne. No one could have imagined that the simple shepherd lad would become his successor. But the ways of man are too often not the ways of God. Those whom God delights to honor seldom occupy the high places of the world's esteem, but rather are found among the simple, the unassuming, the unknown.

 — Corinne Heline

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