Monday, February 13, 2017

Women in Scripture: Hulda


   The first time I heard Huldah mentioned, my response was, “Who?” I mean, I’d read the verses that mentioned her, but she didn’t make much of an impression. It was John Piper, in one of the panel discussions at Together for the Gospel 2008 that first brought her to my attention. Piper said:
   My goal for the women of our church is that they become sages. It’s an unusual word; we all tend to know what it means. It’s a Huldah-like…they streamed to Huldah. She was a prophet, but she evidently didn’t do public prophetic ministry, they came to her in quiet. I don’t know the details. 
   So who is this sage-like woman, anyhow? The Bible just gives us a few verses to go on. We actually know more about her husband than we do her. We know she lived in Jerusalem and that she was a prophetess. Her story starts during the reign of King Josiah. While workers were restoring the temple, they found the Book of the Law. When it was read to the king, he was distressed at what he heard.
   “Go, inquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that has been found. For great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book, to do according to all that is written concerning us.” So Hilkiah the priest, and Ahikam, and Achbor, and Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tikvah, son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter), and they talked with her. (2 Kings 22:13-14) 
   Huldah’s subsequent message was the same as the rest of the Old Testament prophets: God’s people had ignored his ways, and there would be consequences. But due to Josiah’s desire to seek God, the nation’s destruction would not occur in his lifetime. The office of Old Testament Prophetess is closed to us today. But we can still learn from Huldah and her example.  
   Her reputation preceded her. She was known to them before that day, and she was known to be a woman of God. She was knowledgeable about his Word, and she sought the Lord. I want to be careful not to infer too much, but it appears she was well-known for loving the Lord and walking in his ways.  
   She was asked. Women are not to be busybodies. They are to mind their own affairs. They are to avoid going from house to house spreading rumors (1 Timothy 5:13). I may feel I have all sorts of suggestions for the people around me, but if I’m not in charge, and I’m not asked, in most instances I need to keep my mouth shut. If you’ve ever received advice from someone who didn’t know the whole story, you know how unwelcome and unhelpful it is. Don’t be that woman. I’m not suggesting Huldah’s wisdom was more valuable because it was sought by men. Huldah’s wisdom was valuable because she sought the Lord. As I get older, I have gained a little insight (mostly in the category of what not to do). I also know many women who are far wiser than I am. This is valuable to the church, and there is a purpose for it, but it doesn’t happen overnight. It comes from time spent following God and learning his ways.
About the Author: Staci Eastin is the author of The Organized Heart (Cruciform Press, 2011). She also blogs at Writing and Living and the group blog Out of the Ordinary. She and her husband Todd have been married since 1994 and are the parents of three children. Staci lives in Southeast Missouri. 

This post originally appeared on September 13, 2013 

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