Archive for the ‘Proverbs’ Category

The Keats-Shelley House

December 15th, 2011


The Pantheon is larger than one might imagine and truly surreal.  Rome has been called the Eternal City for some solid comparative reasons.  However, at

base of the Spanish Steps

the base of the Spanish Steps, immediately to the right, there is a multi-level, albeit, modest home known as The Keats-Shelley House.  Bob had heard of this place some years ago.   Then, recently, in a visit to Rome, he found it just as predicted.  As Bob stood in the room where Keats died and looking out the very window that John must have peered himself many times, he was reminded of an old text from one of the prophets—“All souls are mine”  (Ezekiel 18:4).  Whereas, Shelley was lost at sea in Italy, Keats died

room where Keats died

here in Rome of tuberculosis.  Both men made lasting literary contributions. Both died relatively young. And both had to leave “the Eternal City”.

But, the thought that Bob would like to leave here is how he found a young British (not Italian) museum curator knitting away on the second floor of the Keats-Shelley House.  There she was in the quiet of that Italian afternoon keeping watch over the literary shrine to the memory of these two British poets.  That somehow seemed appropriate (see also Proverbs 15:3).

approaching Spanish Steps

Should Doctrinal Diversity Be Celebrated?

September 20th, 2008

“It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way”

(Proverbs 19:2, NIV)

The apostle Paul said, “I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment” (1 Corinthians 1:10). Jesus, himself, said, while on earth-“I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one…” (John 17:20).

1 Corinthians 1:10 and John 17:20 are just some of the New Testament exhortations to base unity upon the name of Christ and the apostolic word. This admonition, however, has been set aside by a celebration of doctrinal diversity. But, one might ask, what’s wrong with doctrinal diversity? After all, we celebrate diversity within college circles and Olympic venues from London to Beijing. The main problem with doctrinal diversity is that it is not built upon a base of approved biblical knowledge. Paul uses this same critique in Romans 10:2, “I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.” To base one’s religion upon zeal without knowledge has long been wrong (Proverbs 19:2; Hosea 4:1,6; 1 Timothy 6:20).

Doctrinal diversity should definitely not be celebrated nor commended. Celebration should be based upon zeal with knowledge.

-Robert M. Housby

Are All Beliefs and Churches Equally Valid and Scriptural?

September 9th, 2007

“…for the ways of the LORD are right…”

(Hosea 14:9)

Abraham’s servant bowed his head worshipfully and said—“…blessed be the LORD, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way…” (Genesis 24:48). Later, Moses, himself, would articulate a theology of the right way:

A. The right way is not based upon personally drawn conclusions (Deut. 12:8; 13:1-5; 18:19-22).

B. The right way is grounded in obedience to the documented word of the Lord (Bible) (Deut. 12:28; Ps. 33:4).

C. The right way is known through the commandments (mitvah) (Deut. 13:18).

The Major Post-Modern Assumptions Deserving Biblical Refutation:

1. All religions, churches, and philosophical systems are equally valid (Prov. 12:15; Matt. 15:9,13).
2. God is a purely arbitrary choice on the behalf of the individual (Prov. 16:25).
3. There is no historical/factual basis for Christianity (Lk. 3:1-2; Acts 26:26).
4. Human experience is the ultimate factor in determining truth (Deut. 12;8; Prov. 21:2).
5. There is no room for an exclusive approach to truth (Jn. 14:6; Deut. 12:29-32; Jude 3; Acts 13:10; 2 Pet. 2:15).
6. Sin is merely an outdated view of environmental and social injustices (1 Jn. 1:8).
7. Ultimate issues (origin of the universe; human meaning; salvation; etc.) have little or no bearing on the real world (Heb. 11:3,6).

– Robert Housby

A Theology of Pleasing God

July 22nd, 2007

“When a man’s ways please the Lord,

he makes even his enemiesto be at peace with him”

(Proverbs 16:7)

“Now before he [Enoch] was taken he was commended as having pleased God”

(Hebrews 11:5)

Do your ways please God? The Bible is full of instances which depict: land pleasing man; woman pleasing man; man pleasing woman; servants pleasing kings; and, yes, man pleasing God (Gen. 49:15; Neh. 2:7; 1 Cor. 7:33,34; Heb. 11:5). We have noticed that there appears a rather definite theology of pleasing God in the book of Hebrews.

1. 10:6,8,38 – God determines what is pleasing, and what is not.
2. 11:5 – The example of Enoch.
3. 11:6 – The principle of faith as essential to pleasing God.
4. 12:28 – The exhortation to offer acceptable worship as pleasing.
5. 13:16 – The act of praise and doing good pleases God.
6. 13:21 – The clarification that doing his will is God pleasing when done through Jesus Christ.

Philippians 2:13 reads: “…for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Do your ways please the Lord?

– Robert M. Housby

Every Good Path

February 4th, 2007

“Then you will understand…every good path”

(Proverbs 2:9)

We are aware of the religious changes that are sweeping across our country. The sixth century B.C. prophet wrote, “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it” (Jeremiah 6:16). Jeremiah 6:16 equates “the ancient paths” of God with ,“the good way.” Some 400 years earlier, the Proverb writer gave the classic foundation for a theology of “the path” and “the way” in Proverbs 2:8-20.

We may deduce:

1. This is the way of God for his people (Prov. 2:8).
2. Every good path involves understanding (Prov. 2:9).
3. Such understanding is specific (Proverbs 2:10-20)

a. “wisdom” (2:10)
b. “knowledge” (2:10)
c. “discretion” (2:11)
d. “understanding” (2:12)
e. “delivering” (2:12)

(1) “from evil” [men; darkness; crooked paths] (2:13-15)

(2) “from the forbidden woman” (2:16-19; see also Revelation 17:18;18:3, etc. where the prostitute = a social structure)

Back to the Bible is a return to “every good path” (Prov. 2:9). Your present
path will determine your destination. So, which way are you going?

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Old Testament, path, Proverbs Tags:

Chipper Days Ahead

February 26th, 2006

“A glad heart makes a cheerful face”

(Proverbs 15:13)

“When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the friends are low, and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh…


Success is failure turned inside out,
The silver tint of the cloud of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far…”


–Author unknown

The story is told of a man visiting the Louvre in Paris. He went through the entire museum and commented sarcastically to the doorman upon his leave, “I didn’t see a thing in there!” The doorman smiled and gently replied, “Don’t you wish you could have?” (Arlie J. Hoover, Fallacies of Unbelief, p. 64). We cannot always be of a chipper disposition (John 11:35; Philippians 4:11; Proverbs 15:13). But, what determines whether we spend our days in a chipper mood or a dismal flurry of bitterness? It is written, “good news refreshes the bones” (Proverbs 15:30). The gospel is a message that must be internalized and verbalized (Romans 10:8-11). If we wait for chipper days, we miss the point. We must activate what we know by the gospel. There are no chipper days, only chipper people (see James 5:13). May it be so with you.

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Old Testament, Proverbs Tags:

Dense Fog Warning

October 24th, 2004

“How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?”

(Proverbs 1:22, ESV)


The local weather forecast is not the only place where dense fog shows up. According to the Proverb writer, the simple the scoffer and the fool all live in the same dense fog (Proverbs 1:22). This fog is the way of darkness in which the simple walk (Proverbs 2:13). In fact, one of the premier purposes of the book of Proverbs is: “…to give prudence to the simple” (Proverbs 1:4).

A. Who are these “simple” ones of the book of Proverbs?

1. They are actually in love with being simpletons (1:22).
2. They are digging their own grave by rejecting biblical counsel (1:32).
3. They are equated with children who never grew up (7:7).
4. They thrive on immediate gratification and are easily duped (7:8,18,21).
5. They fail to prepare for the future and suffer because of it (27:12).

B. How may the “simple” rise above the denseness of this personal fog?

1. They must commit themselves to biblical understanding (Psalm 119:130).
2. They must understand that the LORD can preserve the simple (Ps. 116:6).
3. They must learn prudence (Proverbs 8:5).
4. They must become more thoughtful and less gullible (Proverbs 14:15).
5. They should realize they are virtually folly magnets (Proverbs 14: 18).
6. They must learn some hard lessons (Proverbs 19:25; 21:11).

“There it is fog, atmospheric moisture still uncertain in destination, not quite weather and not altogether mood, yet partaking of both” (Hal Borland, Sundial of the Seasons, 1964). There is a possibility of a dense fog ahead. So, how’s the weather where you live?


–Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Old Testament, Proverbs, Psalms Tags: