Archive for the ‘Ecclesiasties’ Category


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

Meant for Heaven, Made for Earth

June 8th, 2008

“The heavens are the Lord’s heavens,

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

(Psalm 115:16)

“…he has put eternity into man’s heart…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

The Old Testament provides the biblical background for the Christian doctrine of heaven. It is through the Old Testament writings that we read about shamayim, translated “heaven.” A close synonym of shamayim is raqia (Psalm 148:4); raqia, being the more specific term, and shamayim the more comprehensive terminology.

In our presentation (06-08-08), we made three points about heaven:

1. Your deepest reality is that you were meant for heaven and are known as eternal in God’s eyes (2 Cor. 5:1-8).

2. Heaven is expressed in symbolism in the Scriptures (Jn. 3:12,13; Rev. 1:1-2;4:1-2). Crowns; harps, and gold (Rev. 2:10; 14:2; 21:18,21) mean something beyond themselves: victory; joy; festivity (1 Cor. 9:25,27); calming, infinity, ecstasy (1 Sam. 16:14-23); preciousness and timelessness.

3. Revelation 4 and 5 express the relevance of heaven in creation and redemption, respectively.

-Robert M. Housby


June 11th, 2006

“…he has put eternity into man’s heart…”

(Ecclesiastes 3:11)

He dazzled his world, at a young age, with his sophisticated mathematics. He, then, proceeded to speak of a “God shaped vacuum.” His name was Blaise Pascal. Is there such a thing as a “God-shaped vacuum?” A void, which, if not filled, causes a man to attempt to connect in some way to the eternal, by legitimate and illegitimate means? Is there such a need built into man to seek out the eternal? Is there a need so important and basic that without its comfort one is destined only to constantly apply band-aids to his dying wounds? Is this search for love and quest for ultimate purpose an inherent condition of man’s soul?

The Bible does speak of such a “God-shaped vacuum.” For example, it is written in Ecclesiastes 3:11—“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end” (Eccl. 3:10-11). Add to this reference, the words of Jesus in John 4:13,14, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty forever.” (see also Acts 17:27,28; 2 Cor. 5:2).

But, the real question is not whether such a vacuum exists. The more incisive question is whether one has found the right resource to fill it. If the Christian fulfillment story of the gospel is rejected, perhaps all that one can expect is summed up—“She is older than the rocks among which she sits; like the vampire she has been dead many times” (Pater’s reflections upon Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, The Renaissance). Thank God for Jesus and the power of his rising (Acts 13:30-41)!

-Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Ecclesiasties, God, Old Testament Tags:

Whet Your Edge

November 14th, 2004

“If the iron is blunt, and one does not sharpen
the edge, he must use more strength, but wisdom
helps one to succeed.”

(Ecclesiastes 10:10)


A proverb is a brief pithy statement meant to convey wisdom. As such, we see that Ecclesiastes 10:10 conveys the wisdom that a dull axe will require considerable more strength than a sharp axe. This information is both simple and sound. But, biblical proverbs often have farther reaching implications than their immediate applications. Such is the case here. An individual may also be sharp or blunt. We tend to associate dullness with I. Q. (Intelligence Quotient). However, while there is a connection between succeeding and natural ability, we have known plenty of smart individuals who live very stupid lives. We have all heard the adage: “He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer.” Therefore, we are persuaded to think of sharp or dull in terms of Ecclesiastes 7:18: “…for a man who fears God will succeed…”(NEB).

It is important that we stay sharp. Consider three dynamics for staying sharp:

1. God wants his people to succeed (Deuteronomy 29:9; Joshua 1:8;
Ecclesiastes 7:18; 10:10; 3 John 2). See that God is involved in one’s life.
2. God provides wisdom that his people may succeed (Proverbs 1:1-7;
Colossians 1:9, 28; 2:2,3; 3:16). See that God’s plan is a power to succeed.
3. Stay sharp and work smart (Ecclesiastes 10:10). Respond to God.

Perhaps, you have been sharp, but are now going through a dull period. You can feel your strength being taxed to the point of burn-out. God has a way to whet your edge. And, it all begins with the fear of the Lord (Proverbs 1:7). Dullards will suffer. So, stay sharp and work smart.

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Ecclesiasties, Old Testament Tags: