Bill Irby's blog

"Curse God and Die" (Job 2:9)

     “Curse God, and die.” This is one of the saddest and most pitiful expressions to be found in the Bible. Bible students know that these words came from the mouth of Mrs. Job. We also know why she was moved to say such a thing.

     Job had been a very rich man. He had at least eleven thousand animals and “very great household.” He had a large and fine family of seven sons and three daughters. The Bible says that Job was “perfect (blameless) and upright, one that feared God and eschewed evil” (1:1).

Tradition and Tradition

     The scribes and Pharisees of the first century believed mightily in adhering to what they called “the tradition of the elders” (Matthew 15:2). Jesus rebuked them because of their hypocrisy which they utilized to contradict God’s will: “Thus you have made the commandment of God of no effect by your tradition” (Matthew 15:6). The Lord continued His rebuke with a quotation from Isaiah 29:13: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.

Our Guyana Trip Report

     Our group, consisting of Suzanne, Andrew and Ashley Sims, Pam and Katie Pepper, Perry, Gina, Laura and Jacob Martin, Brent Peek, John Colgan, Steve Carr and me, met at the Huntsville Airport at 5:00 AM Friday morning, July 15. We went down to Atlanta (one always goes to Atlanta first) and then on to Miami. Going through security in Miami was easy as could be because the crowds were simply not there. Next was a stop in Trinidad where we stayed on the plane for perhaps two hours and then zipped down into the Cheddi Jagan International Airport in Guyana.

Immutable Truth

     The Christian religion can be seen as a historical entity. As such its existence can be traced from its beginning to the present. The story of the first century of Christianity is most reliably told by the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. After that the account moves out from under inspiration (2 Timothy 3:16-17). There is a wealth of information about the things that happen to the church from the end of the first century forward; obviously, the historical accounts are more numerous as time moves toward the present.

Guyana 2016


     For some time now (since 1999) we have been involved in the work for Christ in Guyana. We have sent teams down once or twice a year and this year is no exception. Fourteen of our folks will leave on Friday, July 15 to help the church there at Bartica with a Vacation Bible School and a Gospel Meeting. We always look forward to seeing the people of that good church, particularly Michael Osborne and his good wife Jennifer.


     Paul wrote to the churches of Galatia because he was extremely concerned about their future. Indeed he said “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel” (Galatians 1:6). When we read the letter it becomes clear that the specific challenge before these people was the temptation to leave the Christian faith and return to the Law of Moses. This would be spiritually disastrous, so much so that Paul said that whoever promulgates such a thing should be accursed (Galatians 1:6-9).

Little Faith

     In Matthew 14 we have the account of Jesus walking on the Sea of Galilee. Matthew tells us of two things occurring just prior to this event. First there is the account of the death of John the Baptist. When Jesus heard of John’s death He went to a quiet and deserted place. Though Matthew does not tell us we can reasonably assume that the Lord wanted to be by Himself to think about what had happened to John (Matthew 14:13). We remember that He was “tested in all points like as we are” (Hebrews 4:15).

Surprises in Hell

     Hell is certainly an unpopular subject, these or any days. Now, people use the word all the time, most frequently as an expression of emphasis or what my grandmother Sparks called “cussin.” If you used that word or any of a number of others around her, you would soon wish you hadn’t. I know some grandmothers (and grandfathers) that are the same way today. But the world would be much better off if we had a more grandmothers like Granny Sparks.

Bearing Spiritual Fruit

     There is an account in Matthew 21:17-22 of Jesus withering a fig tree that bore no fruit. The context indicates He did this as an example of His power as an encouragement to His disciples as they faced difficult days ahead. As to Mark’s account (Mark 11) and the matter of figs not being in season and thus Jesus withering an innocent tree (nonsense I know but in print somewhere) let us rely on the botanical knowledge of the Lord Who made all things.

God's Good Road

     Back in May Ginger and I took a little road trip. We went up to see son Tom and his wife Anne in Cleveland, Ohio and then down to Richmond, Virginia for my 50th high school reunion. As we all know it is always good to see your kids. I did notice that there were a lot of old people at that reunion! Ha!