Archive for the ‘Ezekiel’ 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

The Ringing of Those Golden Bells

August 17th, 2008

“…with bells of gold between them, a golden bell and a pomegranate, a golden bells and a pomegranate, around the hem of the robe…and its sound shall be heard when he goes into the Holy Place…”

(Exodus 28:34,35)

“…and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed in a long robe”

(Revelation 1:13)

The ringing of bells has been associated with deep joy and deep sorrow (Hemingway’s, For Whom the Bell Tolls; Longfellow’s, The Bell of Atri; Poe’s, The Bells; and, of course, Daniel A. Marbelle’s, When they Ring Those Golden Bells, 1887). But, when it comes to the Bible, the reference to Bells brings one to the classic passage of Exodus 28:31-35 (see also, Ex. 39:22-26).

The interpretation of this passage by Andrew Bonar (A Commentary On the Book of Leviticus (1852), pp. 153-54 appears helpful in establishing the significance of the ringing of those golden bells:

And these bells , like the bells of Zech. 14:20, speak to the ear, giving notice of approach. The pomegranates speak to the eye, telling that he comes laden with Canaan-fruit for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. This robe, so peculiarly characteristic of the high priest, the poderes of Rev. 1:13, on which our Lord appears…Besides being “all of blue,” it had a heavenly tinge-the sky tinctured grain pointing to the firmament”

Jesus as high priest, having passed through the heavens, intercedes now for his own (Hebrews 9:11-14; 4:14). Can’t you hear the bells a-ringing?

-Robert M. Housby

Regarding the Re-Classification of Pluto

September 10th, 2006

“And God said, Let there be lights
in the expanse of the heavens…”

(Genesis 1:14; Ezek. 32:7,8)

Pluto has an extremely eccentric orbit. It is sometimes closer to the sun than to its neighbor, Neptune. Discovered by Clyde Tombaugh in 1930, Pluto has most recently (2006) been re-classified based upon two fundamental pieces of information: (1) Its mass is too small to be equated with the other planets. For example, it is only 1/500 Earth’s mass; 1/20 Mercury’s mass; and, 1/300 the mass of Jupiter. (2) Its diameter is also too small. It has only 9% the diameter of Neptune; 90% the diameter of Ganymede (Ganymede is a moon of Jupiter, the largest satellite in our solar system). So, it is not surprising that the likes of Sir Patrick Moore (and others) have recently re-classified Pluto, reducing the number of Milky Way Planets from nine to eight.

What are Christians to do with this new information? First, the Lord has never said that there would be either nine or eight planets in our solar system. Secondly, we can  still appreciate the similarities which Pluto shares with other planets: (1) At least one moon (charon) (2) A thin atmosphere of CH4 Methane, and (3) A density of about 1.0 g/cm3 (Jupiter and Uranus = 1.3). Thirdly, we are once again brought face-to-face with science needing to revise its thinking. Our faith does not rest on the laurels of science. We do appreciate scientific data, but we must also realize that it is subject to revision when and where it is inaccurately being affirmed.

Jesus once said to the intellectuals of his day, “You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times” (Matt.  6:3). Thank you Pluto!

– Robert M. Housby

Categories: Bible, Ezekiel, Genesis, Old Testament, science Tags:

“The Four Winds of Heaven”

July 25th, 2004

(Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Daniel 7:2; 8:8; 11:4;
Zechariah 2:6; 6:4,5; Mark 13:27; Revelation 7:1)

“Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these my lord? And the angel answered and
said unto me, These are the four winds of heaven, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth.”

(Zechariah 6:4,5)

Sometimes the people of God need a reminder that their work really matters. The apostle Paul said, “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58). The Bible communicates that God, himself, is very interested in what happens on earth. One such figure of speech expressing God’s interest and participation in what happens on earth is, “the four winds of heaven”. This is a universal expression of cosmological vastness.

“Wind” is from the biblical word, ruach. The wind is a creation of God (Amos 4:13). The Spirit of God uses physical breath and wind to fulfill his great purposes for mankind (Genesis 1:2; 2:7; Ezekiel 37:5,6, 14).
1. The north wind (ruach tsawphon) – is associated with cold conditions (Job 37:9)
2. The south wind (ruach darom) – is often destructive, sultry and withering (James 1:11; Job 37:9)
3. The east wind (ruach qadim) – is portrayed as strong, gusty and scorching (Jeremiah 18:17; Hosea 13:15).
4. The west wind (ruach yam) – associated with storm and rain (1 Ki. 18:44,45).

The churches of Christ are involved in a universal mission (Eph. 3:10,11). This universal sense may be seen in Acts 2:2,5,6,17. Although difficult to conceive (John 3:9), Jesus is reassuring about this kingdom (John 3:8). May the four
winds of heaven, which loom large in Scripture and in Space, find their place in us as well. The church must see herself as involved in the awesome and universal power of God

–Robert M. Housby