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Summary: The importance of treasuring and reading the Word of God.

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2 Kings 22:8-13 KJV And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, 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 scribe came to the king, and brought the king word again, and said, Thy servants have gathered the money that was found in the house, and have delivered it into the hand of them that do the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD. [10] And Shaphan the scribe shewed the king, saying, Hilkiah the priest hath delivered me a book. And Shaphan read it before the king. [11] And it came to pass, when the king had heard the words of the book of the law, that he rent his clothes. [12] And the king commanded Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam the son of Shaphan, and Achbor the son of Michaiah, and Shaphan the scribe, and Asahiah a servant of the king's, saying, [13] Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us.

I. INTRODUCTION—CALLED TO REITERATE AND REINFORCE

A. Reiterate and Reinforce

-One of the callings that a pastor has to this generation is a call to reiterate the old values and to reinforce the disciplines that the church needs to be committed to. But with this calling to reiterate and reinforce comes the challenge to say old things in a new way so as to continue to encourage and inspire the church.

-What I shall preach is something that is not new with me or to you. I have preached on this theme before and will do it again in the future. There is something about the power of the Word that makes me want to continue to return to it again and again.

B. William Tyndale

-William Tyndale is often referred to as the father of the English Bible. He was responsible for translating the Bible from the original Hebrew and Greek texts into English for all to read it. He actually became a criminal for this act. He spent most of his life fleeing from the officers of the Church of England.

-In 1524 he fled from England to Germany. In Wittenberg he spent years translating the Scriptures before slipping to Worms where he printed the Bible into English. From there it was smuggled back into England. He dedicated his entire life to this monumental task of translating the Scriptures into English.

-In his defiance of the prominent clergymen in England, he once said, “I defy the Pope and all his laws. If God spare my life, ere many years, I will cause a boy that driveth the plow to know more of the Scriptures than thou dost.” He did just that! Before too long many of the people in the small towns and communities of England and Europe had a copy of the Bible in their hands.

-Despite his efforts to flee, the religious authorities finally caught up to him and put him in prison. He was betrayed by Henry Phillips, an English spy, who befriended him before turning him in to the religious leaders. A band of men took him to Brussels and imprisoned him in a dark castle of Vilvorde, where he would live for a little over a year and a half in horrible conditions.

-Prior to his execution, he sent a letter to the king:

“Wherefore I beg of your lordship, and that by the Lord Jesus, that if I am to remain here through the winter you will request the commissary to have the kindness to send me from the goods of mine which he has a warmer cap, for I suffer greatly from the cold in the head and am afflicted by a perpetual catarrh (cough), which is much increased in this cell. A warmer coat also, for this which I have is very thin. A piece of cloth, too, to patch my leggings. My overcoat is worn out. My shirts are also worn out. He has a woolen shirt, if he will be good enough to send it. I have with him also leggings of thicker cloth to put on above. He also has warmer night caps. And I ask to be allowed to have a lamp in the evening. It is indeed a wearisome to sit alone in the dark. But most of all I beg and beseech your clemency to be with the commissary that he will kindly permit me to have the Hebrew Bible, Hebrew grammar, and Hebrew dictionary, that I may pass the time in that study. In return may you obtain that which you most desire so only that it be for the salvation of your soul. But if any other decision has been taken concerning me to be carried out before winter, I will be patient. Abiding the will of God to the glory of the grace of my Lord Jesus Christ, whose Spirit I pray may ever direct your heart. Amen. William Tyndale.”

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