Saturday, May 14, 2016

Huldah the Prophetess

Huldah the Prophetess. Nope, I've never heard of her, either.

In my quiet time this morning, I've been reading 2 Kings 22. The boy king Josiah ruled 31 years, and followed after God. When a book of scripture was found in the temple and read to Josiah, Josiah wept, tore his robes, asked for prayer for himself and Judah, and sought God's guidance.
Besides the story of Josiah asking for God's help, seeking God, being faithful, I happened to notice the small details of this prophetess being thrown in to the story.  Because I'm On Mission--and looking for God to speak to me and get me prepared to develop a study guide for this summer's ladies' bible study Time of Your Life, I've been finding lots of little golden nuggets in my quiet time.
To explain the tidbits I'm finding, I'll post the scripture passage and then point out the juicy stuff.
2 Kings 22:

11-13 When the king heard what was written in the book, God’s Revelation, he ripped his robes in dismay. And then he called for Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the royal secretary, and Asaiah the king’s personal aide. He ordered them all: “Go and pray to God for me and for this people—for all Judah! Find out what we must do in response to what is written in this book that has just been found! God’s anger must be burning furiously against us—our ancestors haven’t obeyed a thing written in this book, followed none of the instructions directed to us.”
14-17 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went straight to Huldah the prophetess. She was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, who was in charge of the palace wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter. The five men consulted with her. In response to them she said, “God’s word, the God of Israel: Tell the man who sent you here that I’m on my way to bring the doom of judgment on this place and this people. Every word written in the book read by the king of Judah will happen. And why? Because they’ve deserted me and taken up with other gods, made me thoroughly angry by setting up their god-making businesses. My anger is raging white-hot against this place and nobody is going to put it out.
18-20 “And also tell the king of Judah, since he sent you to ask God for direction; tell him this, God’s comment on what he read in the book: ‘Because you took seriously the doom of judgment I spoke against this place and people, and because you responded in humble repentance, tearing your robe in dismay and weeping before me, I’m taking you seriously. God’s word: I’ll take care of you. You’ll have a quiet death and be buried in peace. You won’t be around to see the doom that I’m going to bring upon this place.’” (The Message)

Here is my thought: 5 important men, including the priest and the king's top adviser are sent by the KING to seek out a woman who's married to a man in charge of what people in the palace wear. I'm thinking that her role as a woman and fashion consultant are nothing compared to her ability to listen to God. 
Our lives are full of responsibilities and roles, but underneath it all and at the end of the day, do we listen to God and act upon what He is showing us? I sure hope I can answer, "Yes."

And another thought--but not about Huldah--Josiah sought God. When he asked about the punishment to come upon his nation because of their sin, he was told that the punishment would still come . . . but it would be delayed until after he had passed. Personally, it is so difficult to comprehend how T-I-M-E works. Yes, I know God is always at work. But it seems strange that it takes generations for the cause and effects of history to take place.  Studying history over time is like wrapping up all the events with a bow.  But living in it, and through it, I have to wonder what big effects are headed our way in America.  Our music, entertainment, culture, lifestyle, government, family structures, etc. are going to hell in a hand-basket. I wonder what roles I play--and I'm not talking about being a school teacher, here. What does "Having the Time of My Life" mean to me?

Images: N3K Photo Studios  by James C. Lewis

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