Welcome to Day 12 of 20 Women in Scripture You Need to Know! I am excited about this series and hope it is an encouragement to both women and men to spend time studying the women in the Bible. We can learn much from them about how to live for the glory of God.
Huldah: Know & Love the Word of God
Huldah’s story may not be familiar to you at all. It’s definitely not one you hear in many sermons or Sunday school lessons. But Huldah played a key role in the revival of Judah under King Josiah. And she’s a powerful example of a woman who knew and loved the Word of God.
A Little Background
In the eighth year of his reign, while he was still a youth, Josiah began to seek the God of his ancestor David, and in the twelfth year he began to cleanse Judah and Jerusalem of the high places, the Asherah poles, the carved images, and the cast images. Then in his presence the altars of the Baals were torn down, and he chopped down the shrines that were above them. He shattered the Asherah poles, the carved images, and the cast images, crushed them to dust, and scattered them over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them. He burned the bones of the priests on their altars. So he cleansed Judah and Jerusalem. He did the same in the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim, and Simeon, and as far as Naphtali and on their surrounding mountain shrines. He tore down the altars, and he smashed the Asherah poles and the carved images to powder. He chopped down all the shrines throughout the land of Israel and returned to Jerusalem.2 Chronicles 34:3-7 CSB
Josiah became king of Judah at age eight. So, at this point, he was sixteen and desired to seek the Lord. He tore down all the high places and idols the people and previous kings had built across the land.
Ten years later, in the eighteenth year of his reign, his began to rebuild the Temple. In this process, the workers discovered the book of the Law. As the priests read it to him, the king tore his clothes and began to mourn over the spiritual state of his people. He wanted to understand more about what God expected of His people. So, he sent the priests to inquire of the Lord to discover what God would have them do. The priests sought further counsel.
So Hilkiah and those the king had designated went to the prophetess Huldah, the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem in the Second District. They spoke with her about this.2 Chronicles 3:8 CSB
Huldah, the prophetess. Did you catch that? She is one of five women identified as a prophetess in the Old Testament. The others are Miriam (Exodus. 15:20), Deborah (Judges. 4:4), Noadiah (Nehemiah. 6:14), and “the prophetess” (Isaiah. 8:3).
What does that mean? BibleGateway.com offers this explanation: “Women were not excluded from the prophetic office in the Old Testament, and were honored with the right of prophetic utterance in the New Testament. It should be noted, however, that women like Miriam, Deborah, and Huldah were not credited with the seer’s insight into the future, but were called “prophetesses” because of the poetical inspiration of their speech. Among others mentioned as having the prophetic gift we find Hannah, Anna, and the four daughters of Philip.” [source]
She said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Say to the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants, fulfilling all the curses written in the book that they read in the presence of the king of Judah, because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods so as to anger me with all the works of their hands. My wrath will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’ Say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: As for the words that you heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before me, and you tore your clothes and wept before me, I myself have heard’—this is the Lord’s declaration. ‘I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place and on its inhabitants.’”2 Chronicles 22:23-38 CSB
Then they reported to the king.
Huldah spoke with confidence about what they needed to do next. How? Because she knew the Word of God and she treasured what it said.
Huldah was not a priest. She didn’t hold an office in the Temple. Her family was skilled in textiles and probably did the embroidery on the priests’ garments.
Yet, when the priests had a question about what they should do, they went to her. Her qualifications were internal — these men had seen in her something that revealed a knowledge and relationship with the Lord. They trusted her to interpret the scrolls and guide them.
A Lesson for Us
Huldah’s life reveals an important truth for all of us, men and women alike. It is not our education, experience, or title that qualifies us for service in the Kingdom — it is our desire to serve and be obedient to Him.
We must remember that knowing Scripture is the best way we have to know the Lord. We must be diligent about studying and meditating on the Bible, not just to accrue knowledge but, more importantly, to grow in understanding..It is not our education, experience, or title that qualifies us for service in the Kingdom — it is our desire to serve and be obedient to Him. Click To Tweet
A Prayer for Us
Lord, grant us an insatiable desire for Your Word. May we be passionate about study, not so we can brag but that we may know God better. We pray for our love and devotion to the Lord to be so evident that others will see Him reflected in our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Ann Voskamp recently wrote a beautiful post about Huldah’s gates and the prophetess. I encourage you to read it also if you would like more information about Huldah and how she can teach us to be confident in our obedience to the Lord.
This post is part of the 20 Women in Scripture You Need to Know series. You can find every post indexed here.