Wednesday, May 4, 2011

William "Shaphan" Davidson

William “Shaphan” Davidson (we'll call him Shaphan-pronounced shay-fin)

Our prayer for this our third child, our son, would be that he would be a lover of the Word of God and a proclaimer of the Word before Kings…

Why Shaphan?
2 Kings 22:8-13, 23:3
“ 8 And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. 9 And Shaphan the secretary came to the king, and reported to the king, “Your servants have emptied out the money that was found in the house and have delivered it into the hand of the workmen who have the oversight of the house of the Lord.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read it before the king. 11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his clothes. 12 And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Micaiah, and Shaphan the secretary, and Asaiah the king's servant, saying, 13 “Go, inquire of the Lord for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us…3And the king stood by the pillar and made a covenant before the LORD, to walk after the LORD and to keep his commandments and his testimonies and his statues with all his heart and all his soul, to perform the words of this covenant that were written in this book. And all the people joined in the covenant.”

The name Shaphan does not in itself have great meaning, but the man that carried this name was called to a great task. Upon the discovery of the Word of the LORD, he read it himself and after doing so was faithful to read it aloud before the king. The reading of the Book of the Law brings King Josiah to repentance and mourning over his sins and the sins of Israel against God. The act of reading the Word of God before the king by this secretary brings is a part of what God uses to bring repentance and restoration of the nation of Israel to Himself.

Why William?
William Tyndale lived from 1494-1536. He was the first to translate the large amounts of the Bible directly into English from the Greek and Hebrew texts. His life was defined by one particular theme, namely, the translation of the Bible into the modern English language. He wanted to make plain the scriptures so that the masses would know the truths of scripture and the teachings of Jesus Christ. His devotion to the translation of the Bible would ultimately lead to his death in 1536.

Phrases such as these, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1), “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name” (Matthew 6:9), and “Fight the good fight” (1 Timothy 6:12), are direct quotations from the Tyndale Bible, most of which have been preserved and are contained in many of our modern translations. William Tyndale thought scripture essential enough to the life of man to dedicate and then give up his own life for the translation and distribution of God’s Word. His final words before being martyred were, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” Within a year, it happened and the whole of the country had the Scriptures…