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Mary Elizabeth Baxter :: Huldah, The Prophetess—2 Chronicles 34:14-33

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HULDAH, THE PROPHETESS.


There is only one mention of Huldah, the prophetess, in the whole Word of God, but that mention is highly honourable. It was in the time of revival, when king Josiah, specially raised up by God to restore His true worship in Jerusalem, had set himself to repair the house of the Lord his God. Before attempting to do this, he had begun to purge Judah and Jerusalem from idolatry, and he had thoroughly cleared the land of all traces of idol worship, unsparingly throwing down the graven images, the sun images, and the molten images, breaking them in pieces, and making dust of them.

THE SCRIPTURES DISCOVERED.

While clearing out the rubbish from the house of the Lord, a great discovery was made by Hilkiah, the priest. He found "a book of the law of the Lord given by Moses." So complete had been the apostasy of the children of Judah, that the very Word of God was covered over by the rubbish of the building, and the people seemed not to have missed it! What a type this is of many a dead Church, many an unspiritual Christian, many an unfruitful Sunday School; music, singing, bazaars, entertainments, church‐building-anything and everything taking precedence of the Word of the Living God!

King Josiah had two faithful friends: Shaphan the scribe, and Hilkiah the priest: without any feeling of reserve, they brought the book of the law to the king. Blessed it was to have a king to whom they could thus speak freely, and to whom they could propose to read from the book of the law! "Shaphan read it before the king," and "when the king had heard the words of the law, he rent his clothes." He let himself be broken by the power of the Word of God. He felt it "quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two‐edged sword." (Heb 4:12.) God's Word was to him as a fire, and as a hammer, that broke the rock in pieces (Jer 23:29); the king acknowledged his Master in the Word which he had heard. So he sent Hilkiah and Shaphan with two others, saying: "Go, enquire of the Lord for me, and for them that are left in Israel and in Judah, concerning the words of the book that is found: for great is the wrath of the Lord that is poured out upon us, because our fathers have not kept the Word of the Lord to do after all that is written in this book."

How should the high priest and his companions enquire of the Lord? Who would be nearer God than they? Who would be a better interpreter of His mind? There was no priest higher than Hilkiah. Probably Shaphan stood at the head of the scribes. But both Hilkiah and Shaphan were conscious that there was one in Jerusalem who had a better understanding of the heart of God than they had.

IT WAS A WOMAN.

It is perhaps more especially in times of crisis that God raises up godly women to be His interpreters. He can count upon their weakness; they can give Him His place.

"So Hilkiah, and they that the king had commanded, went to Huldah, the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvath the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she dwelt in Jerusalem in the second quarter); and they communed with her."

As wife of the keeper of the wardrobe it is very probable that Huldah's earthly talents lay in the way of needlework, and that there was nothing at all extraordinary about her usual life; but men of God were conscious that the Lord was with her, that He spoke to her and through her, and that she understood Him. They could not be in her presence without being brought nearer to God; woman as she was, she was a true Levite. (Deu 10:8.) Nothing is told us of her pedigree or of any other thing whatsoever regarding her but that a king, a high priest, and a learned scribe could get nearer to God through her than by any other means. This speaks much for the saintliness of this woman. This tells a tale which the greatest eloquence could not tell. Huldah must have been a woman of prayer, leading, perhaps, a very retired life, but a life the power of which told upon all who were round about her.

She got her message from God, and said:

"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Tell ye the man that sent you to me, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel."

Huldah was simply a messenger; she spoke with no personal authority; and yet there was both authority and power in her message. She knew that evil was coming upon Jerusalem, and she knew the reason. She was obliged to tell out the determination of God to bring upon Jerusalem and its inhabitants all the curses that were written in the book of the law, and that because of their idolatry, therefore, His wrath was poured out, and it should not be quenched.

God gave her also a personal message to the young Josiah:

"But unto the king of Judah, who sent you to enquire of the Lord, thus shall ye say to him, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel, As touching the words which thou hast heard; because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest His words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and hast humbled thyself before Me, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before Me; I also have heard thee, saith the Lord. Behold, I will gather thee to thy fathers, and thou shalt be gathered to thy grave in peace, neither shall thine eyes see all the evil that I will bring upon this place, and upon the inhabitants thereof."

Here was the message. They brought it to the king; and the effect of it was such that king Josiah "sent and gathered together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem," and he "went up to the house of the Lord," and, as the head of his people, he instructed them in the Word of God. The king himself took the book of the law, and with his own voice he "read in their ears all the words of the book of the covenant that was found in the house of the Lord."

And this was not all. The king meant definite business with his God. He "stood in his place, and made a covenant before the Lord, to walk after the Lord, and to keep His commandments, and His testimonies, and His statutes, with all his heart, and with all his soul, to perform the words of the covenant that were written in this book. And he caused all that were found in Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to it."

Such was the effect of one godly woman's fearless prophecy. Nothing more is told us of Huldah. She gave her message, and retired from the scene. But she had left her mark upon her generation; and if she had never spoken another word to the king, or high priest, or Shaphan the scribe, she had, nevertheless, left her impress upon the lives of each of these distinguished men. She had fulfilled her mission, and she might rest in peace. Blessed are the women who are willing to be used or set aside just when God wills. O, how powerfully He can use those who have no choice as to the use which He shall make of them, those who are willing to be nothing and nobody. God raise up Huldahs in this generation, for Jesus' sake.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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