The Message from Sinai

Had the people in the wilderness of long ago spiritually understood the majestic enunciation echoing from the heights of Horeb, "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord," the trend of human history would have been changed. The God-sent message fell upon the heavy ears of those who had yet to learn the rudiments of obedience to Principle. The terms obedience and obey are frequently the translations of the Hebrew word shama, to hear, hearken. The characteristic use of the word obedience in the Bible is to denote the right relation between man and God. Obedience is spiritual understanding expressing itself, and means a ready response to the still, small voice of Truth. The custom of offering sacrifices was in Old Testament times accounted praiseworthy; yet, we have the classic saying of Samuel: "Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." It is evident, therefore, that the many Scriptural admonitions to hear, to hearken, and to obey, appertain wholly to the spiritual sense, which is the ability to apprehend God's ideas.

For the word hear we have the following definition: "Toperceive or apprehend by the ear," while in the Glossary of Science and Health (p. 585) we find this illuminating metaphysical interpretation of ears: "Not organs of the so-called corporeal senses, but spiritual understanding. Jesus said, referring to spiritual perception, 'Having ears, hear ye not?' (Mark viii. 18.)" Material sense perception, that is to say, the perception which results from the education of the belief of sensation in matter, finds only a selfhood limited to its beliefs; while spiritual perception discovers a selfhood which dwells in the infinitude of Spirit, and which delights in listening to the divine voice ever reiterating the truth of being. Every one desires good; therefore, every one has the gift of spiritual perception or the faculty of hearkening to the truth.

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