Archive for the ‘Psalms’ Category

References in Resolution

January 26th, 2012


PSALMS: BOOK 1 (1-41)

“Kiss the Son”

(Psalm 2:12; See Jn. 5:23)

 Introduction:   Psalms: Bk. 1 (1-41) differs from the other sections of the Psalms in several different respects.   One such differentiation shows itself in how personally resolved the psalmist appears.   It may be that these references in religious resolution may point the way to reaffirm our own faith during days of modern conflicts.  We have designated the first three Psalms (examples) with important textual clues, as to meaning.

Psalm 1:2, 6 = Contrast [Re: different types; different values; different destinies] (Cominciamo in Contrasto: due uomini; due vie; due destini)

Psalm 2:12 = Why? [Re: rejection of the biblical God] (Perche?)

Psalm 3:4 = Conflict [Re: The people of God in conflict] (Il popolo di Dio in conflitto)

Psalm 4:6

Psalm 5:8

Psalm 6:2

Psalm 7:17

Psalm 8:1,9

Psalm 9:10

Psalm 10:1,12

Psalm 11:3,4

Psalm 12:6,7

Psalm 13:1,5

Psalm 14:2

Psalm 15:1

Psalm 16:5,8

Psalm 17:6

Psalm 18:46

Psalm 19:1,7,14

Psalm 20:4

Psalm 21:6

Psalm 22:1

Psalm 23:6

Psalm 24:1

Psalm 25:8

Psalm 26:8

Psalm 27:8,13

Psalm 28:8

Psalm 29:2

Psalm 30:5

Psalm 31:5,15

Psalm 32:1-2

Psalm 33:13

Psalm 34:18

Psalm 35:2,3,27

Psalm 36:9

Psalm 37:4,5,31

Psalm 38:9

Psalm 39:4

Psalm 40:7-8

Psalm 41:13

Conclusion:     Book 1 also contains a recurring phrase worth your consideration (“The Holy Hill”: See 2:6; 3:4; 15:1; 24:3).  Indeed, Calvary was a low brow, but it casts a long shadow.   May these references of  Psalms: Book 1 enable more practicing of the presence of God.

The castle

Italian Magnum Opus

November 27th, 2011

In A Brief History of Time, Carl Sagan introduces the Cambridge Professor of Mathematics, Stephen Hawking,  by saying something thoughtful:  “We go about our daily lives understanding almost nothing about the world” (ix).  Maybe Sagan was speaking more of himself than for Christians (see Romans 1:19-21).  But, it does appear that he had a valid point.  Our problem with a purely Marlamaterial position of the world is that it is strongly tilted toward a set of presuppositions which exclude outside forces  (namely the Lord God) from the git-go.    That is why, when people sometimes state, “I believe in Science,”  they are actually admitting to a higher power that is observable.  An immediate problem here involves the nature of God being spirit, not chemical or a mere force field (John 4:24).  So, end of discussion, right?

The world from a physical standpoint does have four fundamental forces: (1)  Gravitational  (2)  Electromagnetic  (3) Weak Nuclear, and (4)  Strong Nuclear.  The Bible writer to the Hebrews, in 1:3, 10-12; 10:3 , presents Christian faith as including a  cosmological view of things.  So, those forces for Hawking are contained; while for Christians they are contingent.  Allowing for this data, we may move into the discussion of God in history.

There appear to be some firm components in the mind of the apostle Paul.  One such idea is that God is at work in the world.  But, even before Paul, we may delve into what Jesus himself thought of the world.  What kind of a place is it neighborsanyway?  For, to think as Jesus thought, to feel as he felt, and to see as he saw , we will need to acquire his set of beliefs (or, belief system).  John 5:17 captures this assumption in a  few words. Jesus believed that the Father was at work in the world, and that he was also involved in this magnum opus.  When the gospel is preached and people respond in baptism, they are raised by the power of God out of the watery grave of Christian baptism.  This is the Lord’s  continuation of John 5:17.  This is furthermore a call to believers to participate in the work of God (opera in Italian), by submitting to his plan.  If it begins here, commencing in baptism, it takes the believer far away and yet nearer to the one who calls.  This may be seen in Philippians 1:6, where the work of God in history has high continuity with John 5:17 and Colossians 2:12.

Why then emphasize making new friends or teaching worldview to bambini in Italy?  Of course, it is part of the plan!  Sagan and Hawking have done their homework and have gained the plaudits of men.  But, they have also limited their world with the rejection of any divine working in cosmos or history.  That is because of the Science, right?  Think again.  Sagan may know why stars twinkle (to the human eye), but we know why they shine on (Rom. 1:19-21; Ps. 19:1-6; Mal. 4:2; Dan. 12:3).    The great Italian Magnum Opus does not belong Albertaexclusively  to Columbus, Galileo, or Fermi.  The sub-atomic level may appear random; neutrinos, for example.  But, the speed of light is still a constant (300,00 kilometers per sec.).  Dare to participate in the drama.  Jesus will meet you there (Jn. 5:17; Col. 2:12; Phil. 1:6).  Pronto?

The Kingdom of God in Luke’s Gospel

May 29th, 2009

(1:32-33;  2:4; 34-35; 3:31; 4:43; 6:20; 7:28; 8:10; 9:2; 10:23-24; 11:2, 17; 12:31-32; 13:20; 14:15; 16:16; 17:20-21; 18:15-17; 19:12; 36-40; 22:14-16; 23:1-3; 35-43)

“…and of his kingdom there will be no end”

(Luke 1:33)

The word kingdom is meaningless to most people.  It may evoke certain ancient images of swords and jousting, but there will be no ultimate personal relevance.  In the face of this casual approach to kingdom, one is confronted with Kingdom of God in the Gospel of Luke.   What should one make of this startling kingdom which is anything but casual?

1.       The Kingdom of God provides a context whereby one may discuss and perceive God in history [bear in mind, your history!].

2.      The primary meaning of “kingdom” is royal power. It more often carries the force of dominion (see Dan. 4:31, where dominion is departed, but not domain); more reign than realm.  In Luke, the ideas associated with Kingdom are heightened (see the Luke references above).

3.       For God’s people (who seeing-see and hearing-understand, Lk. 8:10), it is not the past which determines the future, but the future which directs the present.  For the Christian, the Lord of history is not prominent, but preeminent (Col. 1:16-18).

-Robert M. Housby


May 14th, 2009

(100-600 Levels)

“The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,

but the earth he has given to the children of man”

(Psalm 115:16)

On the 100 Level, providence involves-

1.    Definition

2.    Usage (Acts 24:2, from pronoias)

On the 200 Level, providence involves-

1.        A reference to God in the world (Eccl. 3:1-11)

a.   Hebrew world view believes in purpose on earth (3:1)

b.   And, transcendent purpose in heaven (3:11; Isa. 55:8-9)

2.        Christian world view unites God’s purpose in Christ (Eph. 1:10)

On the 300 Level, providence involves-

1.         A long and loud praise of God’s universal providence (Ps. 104)

2.         Psalm 104 begins and ends with a summons for the individual to participate in this providence (104:1,35).

On the 400 Level, providence involves-

1.         The comprehensive terminology of heaven (shamayim; ouranos)

2.         Our deepest reality is that we were meant for heaven-made for earth (2 Cor. 5:1-8)

On the 500 Level, providence involves-

1.         Kingdom of God in personal dailiness (Matt. 5:45; 6:25-34; 10:29-31)

2.         Kingdom of God in personal discernment of kingdom reality (Matt. 13)

On the 600 Level, providence involves-

1.         Living 100-600 level revitalization (Finding your place in His plan)

2.         Revelation 11:15!

-Robert M. Housby

Providence 101

May 8th, 2009

“…Tertullus began…saying, Seeing that by thee [Roman

procurator, Felix] we enjoy great quietness, and that very

worthy deeds are done unto this nation by thy providence…”

(emph. mine, RMH)

(Acts 24:2, KJV [the term providence, here, is pronoias; it is the only such reference in the Bible; and, here, in a secular sense. Of course,  the concept of providence is everywhere in the Scriptures] )

Providence is a reference to God in  the world (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11).  To have a Christian world-view is to believe in purpose on earth (Eccl. 3:1) and transcendent purpose in heaven (Eccl. 3:11; Isa. 55:8-9).   Christ Jesus merges these two concepts (Eph. 1:10); so far as is practical (Deut. 29:29).

Jesus, himself, lived with a strong sense of providence, and encouraged others to do the same (Matt. 5:45; 6:25-34; 10:29-31).  Jesus’ view of providence was undoubtedly influenced by his earthly instruction in the Bible.  This would have included Psalm 104.  This is a long and loud praise of universal providence.  It begins and ends with a summons for the individual to recognize and participate in the providence of God.  The recurring phrase which marks the beginning and the ending of Ps. 104 is “Bless the LORD, O my soul!” (Ps. 104:1,35).  Further resources of providence include: Ps. 33:21; 97:10; Prov. 16:33; 20:24; and Gen. 45:5.

The Kingdom of God is an excellent context for discussing Divine Providence.  Kingdom is about God in history (Lk. 10:11).  The perception of God in history will influence how one characteristically  looks outward on the universe.

Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, kingdom, Old Testament, providence, Psalms Tags:

Devotional Readings From Brother Lawrence’s,Practicing the Presence of God

April 10th, 2009

[We use the name which this Carmelite kitchen monk went by-“Brother Lawrence,” in the sense of Acts 2:37, where “brethren” is used in a generic sense]

In the area of Christian devotional literature, the classic work by “Brother Lawrence,” Practicing the Presence of God, is certainly worth your time to read.  Surely Lawrence was ahead of many when it comes to a personal spiritual life.   Notice some sample quotes below, from Lawrence:

“The time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen…I possess God as if I were on my knees.”

“You need not cry very loud, he is nearer to us than we think”

“We ought not to be weary of doing little things for the love of God, who regards not the greatness of the work, but the love with which it is performed”

“There is not in the world a kind of life more sweet and delightful than that of a continual walk with God.  Those only can comprehend it who practice and experience it; yet I do not advise you to do it from that motive”

These quotes serve to make us aware of why we do what we do in the name of Christ (Psalm 116).

-Robert M. Housby

Conversion: A Moral Revolution

March 28th, 2009

“And sinners shall be converted to you”

(Psalm 51:13, NKJV)

Strong’s Greek Dictionary gives the meaning of “conversion” as moral evolution (32).  See Acts 15:3.    Other essential information about “conversion” include:

1.       The Hebrew term shoob means to turn back.  Psalm 19:7 shows the  process of conversion being brought about by God’s law (torah) upon the  human soul.  The Hebrew shoob also has a godly motivation behind it,  propelling it into action (see Psalm 51:13 in context).

2.       The verb form epistrepho (see Luke 2:39) involves 5 groups:

a.      Mk. 4:12 (Isaiah 6:9,10) – outsiders

b.      Lk. 22:32 – former disciples

c.       Acts 3:19 – non-Christians

d.       Acts 28:27 – those in need of spiritual healing

e.       James 5:19,20 – errant Christians

In conclusion, conversion is a turning or returning to God.  The wrong turn is possible, according to Acts 7:39.  But, the primary opportunity is from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to the power of God (Acts 26:18; 1 Thess. 1:9). Moral revolution well expresses Christian conversion.

-Robert M. Housby

The Moon

March 21st, 2009

Do you have a Christian worldview about the Moon? Look up into the night sky with the following data in mind (Ps. 19:1-2; 2 Cor. 10:5,NASB).

1. Gen. 1:14-16 (the principal luminary of the night has interdependence with the sun)

2. Ps. 72:5 (both the sun and the moon are expressions of permanence)

3. Ps. 8:3 (the moon is the work of the Lord; set it in place by him)

4. Mk. 13:24 (portrayed as eclipsed at the coming of the Son of Man)

5. Matt. 4:24 (the moon is associated with mental affliction, literally “moon-struck” (from selena, the moon = lunatics, NASB Zondervan Interlinear.  Other translations interpret as epileptic, etc.)

6. Ps. 121:5 (the moon was once thought to influence the mind-loony thinking).

7. Job 31:26-28 (the moon is associated with idolatry-worship; Nanna, Sumerian/named Sin by the Assyrians)

8. The moon’s appearance is that of highlands (craters); maria (lava); mnt. ranges (debris); and, valleys (1000’s of km).  The moon is geologically dead.  Its average distance from Earth is 3.8 x 10.   It is the only satellite of the Earth.  Its diameter is 3,476 km./ .25 that of Earth’s.    All lunar rocks are formed by cooling lava (igneous).  Its gravity is 1/6 that of Earth’s.  Its period of rotation is 27 1/3 days; period of revolution is 29 ½ days.

9. Four Major Theories of Lunar Origin – (1)  Condensation (same material and time of formation as Earth)  (2)  Fission (the moon was once part of the Earth and split away)  (3)  Capture (a separate stellar object captured by Earth’s gravity, and (4)  Large impact theory (a Mars sized object hit Earth; splashed off and formed the moon).

-Robert M. Housby

The Gospel Must Be Accepted

February 19th, 2009

“Behold now is the favorable time; behold now is the day of salvation”

(2 Cor. 6:2)

The gospel was meant to be accepted (2 Cor. 11:4).  The gospel must be accepted because it was meant to be accepted; meant by the Lord to be received by men (Acts 11:1; 1 Thess. 2:13).  The appeal of the gospel always has urgency and expectancy within its message (2 Cor. 6:2).

1. Accepting the gospel is an individual affair.  Notice the emphasis upon “each one” in 2 Corinthians 5:10, and throughout the New Testament.  Individual responsibility is clearly meant.

2.Accepting the gospel entails ownership. Ownership also infers responsibility-a right of possession.  2 Peter 1:1,3,4,8,12, etc.  indicate ownership by verbs such as-“have obtained,” “granted to us,” and “you have.”

3. Accepting the gospel means accepting the consequences of following Christ (1 Pet. 4:12-19).

My son has a personal web site which displays the Sphinx of Egypt; the Eiffel Tower of Paris; and the Tower of Pisa.  All of these are places which he has visited in person.  They are not mere hopes nor dreams; but for him they are realities, facts, moments of his life.  Is the gospel such a reality for you?   Have you owned it yet?

Robert M. Housby

The Source of Your Strength

January 16th, 2009

“Happy are those whose strength is in you”

(Psalm 84:5, NRSV)

The concept of “strength” is not only vital in the natural sense; it is vital in the spiritual sense to God’s people. The English Bible often translates “God” from the Hebrew word, “Elohim”. This word carries the idea of strength. It is also a plural (with the “im” ending). This use of the term Elohim is known as a “plural of majesty”, or “honorific plural”. It certainly is not strange why the Psalmist endorses God as the source of strength and blessing of his people (Psalm 84:5).

Psalm 84 expresses four key concepts about such strength:

1. Such strength shows itself in joyful confidence (84: 1-4).

2. Such strength is meant for life’s spiritual journey (84: 5-7).

3. Such strength is connected to prayer (84: 8-9).

4. Such strength is based on trust in God (84: 10-12).

Have you located the source of your strength today (Ephesians 3: 14-21)?

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Old Testament, Psalms, resource, strength Tags: