Grab a cuppa and join me for a few minutes, and let us ponder together a brave hardly-mentioned woman in the Bible…
Have you ever been reading your Bible and you meet a character that you feel like you never met before? And you think, how did I never notice this person before?!
That happened to me today. I was reading in 2 Kings 22 about the reforming King Josiah who “did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and walked in the way of David his father, and he did not turn aside to the right or to the left.” Now I love reading about Josiah especially since my third grandson was named after him.
King Josiah was only eight years old when he became king after his evil king father was slain. Now his mother, Jedidah is mentioned right before the phrase I quoted above, which can cause us to infer that she must have had some kind of godly influence in his life for him to not follow in his father’s evil footsteps.
There is another woman mentioned in his reign that changed the course of his life and the future of the kingdom of Judah… and her name is Huldah. ( Might need to find this book below.)
There are only seven verses surrounding her, both in the 2 Kings passage as well as the parallel passage in 2 Chronicles 34. But what an impact she had!
Here is the summary of the account. When young King Josiah asks his high priest Hilkiah and secretary to get the Temple back into shape with builders and stonemasons to repair it, Hilkiah finds the long-forgotten dust-covered book of the Law. The secretary reads it and takes it to King Josiah and reads it to him. Josiah responds with grief and mourning and tells his High Priest to go inquire of the Lord, “for great is the wrath of the Lord that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book.” (vs.13)
So where does Hilkiah go, accompanied by four other officials? To Huldah, the prophetess, wife of Shallum, the keeper of the wardrobe, living in the second quarter of the city of Jerusalem! What was her life probably like? Probably needlework and repairing of the priestly robes and tablecloths for the Temple, and more importantly, she must have listened to the Lord. She must have spent time meditating on this long forgotten book of Truth and Life. She must have had a reputation for being connected to the Lord God. A woman! Now that is pretty spectacular!
And what was her message or prophetic word from the Lord to this esteemed group of leading men?
It was a strong warning!
“Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants… because they have forsaken Me and have made offerings to other gods.” (vs.16-17)
Then, she has a personal prophesy for King Josiah… “because your heart was penitent and you humbled yourself before the Lord upon hearing the word of the Lord… you shall be gathered to your grave in peace and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place.” (vs.19-20)
So what is my personal response to this passage and this bold brave woman of God in troubled times? My heart is encouraged that my time in the Word of God is not wasted. That my simple efforts of service and being available can be used of God.
I confess I grow weary at times when those around me don’t understand and value the importance of regular diets of feeding on the Word of God to counter the invasive lies of our flesh, the devil and the world. There is so much “self-ruling” promoted. There is so little Freedom of Self Forgetfulness. There is so much “Thus Saith the Lord” that is people-pleasing rather than the Biblical reality that most prophecy is a warning.
I want to be like Huldah and live my life in service to God but ready to proclaim truth even if it it not popular and is instead counter-cultural. May I be faithful, meditating daily on the Word, listening to God in prayer, and available to encourage others to point their hearts towards the Lord.
As a side-note, I recently watched a poignant disturbing episode from the Netflix series titled Black Mirror – it was season 3, episode 1 (Nosedive). Also, the new film, The Circle with Tom Hanks and Emma Watson… something to ponder in regards to the power of social media and our current technology trend and our need for approval.
So how many of you were aware of Huldah the Prophetess?
Thanks for taking time for tea with Mama G