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A Prophetess to the Rescue

Josiah wanted to be different! He had seen turmoil, heartache, violence, sexual debauchery, and disruption of society and government because of idolatry. His father, Amon, and grandfather, Manasseh, had been very evil and led their country into gross paganism with all its accompanying evils. Even as a young boy (Josiah was only eight when he became king), he became concerned about the downward spiral into pagan practices ruining his country. (2 Kings 22 and 23 and 2 Chronicles 34 and 35)

At age 20, he started cleansing Jerusalem and his land of the high places, groves, and carved and molten images. He had little education in the law of God. He did as much as possible with the limited knowledge he had.

In the eighteenth year of his reign, he decided to repair the house of the Lord. After the work began, a nation-changing event halted the project. Hilkiah, the high priest, found the book of the law buried in the rubble of the neglected temple. He showed it to Shaphan, the scribe, and they decided to bring it to the king.

As Shaphan read it to the king (especially Deuteronomy chapters 4-30, which exposed the wicked things the nation had already done, the good things they had not done, and contained a pronouncement of God’s judgment if they didn’t repent), Josiah became very troubled. He already knew the nation had departed from God, but until now, he didn’t realize the immensity and gravity of their sin. He rent (tore) his clothes in sorrow for sin and for the burdening conviction that they must repent immediately and make things right.

Imagine today what would happen to our churches if we didn’t possess the Bible or had neglected or buried it in the archives for 75 years. That’s what had happened in Judea: Manasseh and Amon’s evil reigns of 57 years and now in the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign.

Overwhelmed with the seriousness of their offense, Josiah wanted a counselor to provide wisdom and guidance. However, the two leading prophets of that time, Jeremiah and Zephaniah, were unavailable. To whom could Josiah turn for a word of wisdom? He commissioned Hilkiah and the others with him to enquire of the Lord for him.

God led Hilkiah to the prophetess, Huldah. Little is known about her; this is the only time she appears in the Scriptures. She is only identified as the wife of Shallum, the keeper of the King’s wardrobe.

But she was known to Hilkiah and the others as a woman who had a right relationship with the Lord. She knew the Lord and could commune with Him. She was a woman who had prepared herself spiritually to respond to the Lord’s will. What would she say about this book?

Huldah was direct. She didn’t coddle the seekers. The people had forsaken the Lord and turned to idolatry. They had provoked God to anger, and he would pour his wrath on them and Jerusalem. No one could appease His wrath. God would judge Judah and bring all the curses upon them, as listed in Deuteronomy. But God would be merciful to Josiah, the king. The judgment would not come in his lifetime because he had humbled himself before the Lord, rent his clothes, and wept.

And she was right. Within the next 45 years, Babylon would come against Jerusalem. There would be three deportations of the people from the city, and by 586 BC, Babylon would destroy the city.

After receiving verification of the book of the law from Huldah,  Josiah read the book to the people in Jerusalem. He instituted several more reforms and held the greatest Passover – more significant than during Hezekiah and Solomon’s time. The Scripture says there was no Passover like that since the days of Samuel the prophet. The sad part of the story is that this was all superficial in the hearts of the people. They were doing it because Josiah commanded it.

But consider Huldah! She was God’s woman to affirm God’s message in God’s time. She knew the Word. She had a reputation as a woman of God: “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.” “Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.” (Proverbs 31:10, Proverbs 31:30)

She had prepared her heart. They told her the issue and showed her the Scripture. She was in communion with the Lord, enabling her to talk with Him and receive His answer. She responded immediately.

Huldah had a passion for her people and their needs. They had failed to respond to God and had instead turned away. Therefore, the wrath of God was upon them. Because she had compassion for them, she told them the truth. What they would do with the truth was their choice. She could help rescue her people if they would listen.

God needs women of God in His service today. The Bible and Christian history since the time of Christ are full of stories of godly women who accomplished great things for God.

To the women who read this, will you surrender to the Lord to be God’s woman for this time? In the words of Mordecai, to Esther the queen in Esther 4:14– “…Who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this.?”

To the men who read this, God needs you too.

If you are a born-again Christian, submit your life to the Lord.  God has a place and a purpose for you in his service today.

About Dale B

I am a born-again Christian who loves to write and share the Good News about Jesus. Raised on a small Wisconsin farm and saved at age 12, I have been active in Christian service since that time. My many years as a pastor, accountant, and lay worker in the church have equipped me to help those in need. In retirement now in Texas, the Lord has led me to writing as a means of winning people to Christ and helping Christians grow in the Lord. By God’s grace I hope to be a blessing and encouragement to you.

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  1. Dale,

    Thank you for this article, it was profound in insight and the message it conveyed – great job!

    God Bless~


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