Celebrating the Women of Scripture: Huldah

We are continuing our celebration of Women’s History Month by looking at influential women in scripture. You can read more about Junia here and Priscilla here.

In the Old Testament, there was a king named Josiah. He was a good king, who wanted to do what was right in God’s eyes. While working in the temple, Josiah’s men discovered the book of the Law—the Scriptures—and read a stern warning to those who don’t follow God. Josiah was rightfully concerned about what he read and wanted more information about God’s will.  In 2 Kings 22, Josiah sends his men to inquire of the Lord:

 Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”

Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.

We don’t know much about Huldah’s background. In fact, we learn more about her husband than her! But she must have been a wise and trusted prophet for Josiah’s men to come to her. It was good that they did consult her! Huldah gave a dire warning to the people:

She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me,  ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read.  Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’  Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard:  Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord.  Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”

Huldah’s prophecy led to Josiah making sweeping reforms in the kingdom. He renewed his covenant to follow God and keep his commands, he tore down idols, and had everyone pledge to follow God.

Who are the women who inspire you to follow God more closely? Who is a woman in your life that you trust as a wise voice to speak into your life?

Kendall Potter
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