Turning to a Woman for the Voice of God

“Did you see how upset King Josiah was, Akbor?”

“He wasn’t upset, Ahikam. He was scared.”

“When my father Shaphan read aloud the book of Moses found by Hilkiah the high priest, I shook as well.”

“I think everyone in his presence did, my friend. But Hilkiah is a man of God. He will guide us rightly.”

“Haven’t you heard, Akbor? We are not going to consult a man about the curses found for those who fail to follow God’s laws.”

“Then who will guide us in God’s ways?”

“Hilkiah says we are to consult a woman.”

“A woman!”

“Yes. My father said the king and high priest spoke together and decided Huldah the prophet is the one to seek. We are going to the New Quarter of the city now in hopes she is home.”

“Huldah? I have heard of her, Ahikam. Isn’t her family connected to the king’s palace?”

“Her husband is distantly. His grandfather is the wardrobe keeper. Look, we are at her gates.”

“Is that her in the doorway? Is she waiting for us?”

“I wouldn’t be surprised, Akbor. The king said to inquire of the Lord, and she is God’s prophet. I’m sure if God wanted to let her know we were on our way, he’d tell her.”

***

“Huldah surprised me, Akbor.”

“Why? Because she’s a woman?”

“No, I misspoke. She didn’t surprise me. Her words surprised me. When I first heard the book of Moses being read in the king’s presence I feared immediate disaster and destruction for all Jerusalem and Judea.”

“But she promised just that, Ahikam.”

“Yes, but she also said God approved of King Josiah’s grief at all the wickedness of past kings and Israelites that led to this. She said he won’t live to see the disaster.”

“That does not mean much for Israel. She said the disaster was still sure to come.”

“My father Shaphan said he and Hilkiah the high priest and the king are consulting now on the next steps.”

“What do you mean ‘next steps’? We’re doomed!”

“Israel may suffer for its sins, and suffer greatly. That is not the important thing, though.”

“What could be more important, Ahikam?”

“To follow King Josiah’s example. He did not humble himself and grieve and repent because God promised to save him from the coming troubles. He tore his robes in anguish before hearing from Huldah the prophet of God.”

“And your point?”

“Hilkiah and the king are gathering the people in the Temple courts where the king himself will read aloud the book of the law. I will listen to those words again – and again if necessary – to let them sink into my very bones so that I will live according to God’s promises and not repeat the mistakes of our ancestors.”

“Of what good is that, Ahikam? Disaster will still come.”

“And it may very well come in my own lifetime, Akbor. But I will honor the Lord with what is left of my life just the same. This is the example of the king I will follow.”

“Will the people, though? This nation is riddled with false gods and their adherents.”

“My father said there are plans already to remove the pagan shrines and altars, especially that abomination to Molech where people sacrifice their own children. And I fear for the pagan priests who do not repent and denounce their wicked ways. The king, I hear, is in no mood for compromise.”

“So plans have already gone that far … . Would you mind going on ahead to the Temple courts without me, Ahikam? I will catch up with you soon.”

“Of course. You will be there for the king’s reading, though, won’t you?”

“I will, without fail. I must do one thing first.”

“What is that, my friend?”

“My wife’s cousin sent us a present for our marriage, a small fertility idol. We’ve kept it wrapped in cloth and left it in a cupboard behind some old jars.”

“You’re not bringing it to the Temple, are you?”

“No. I am bringing it to our cook to grind with her mortar and pestle and then throw in the kitchen fire to burn the pieces to ash.”

“I see. Yes, that sounds like a fine way to follow the king’s example in honoring God according to the word of his prophet, Akbor.”

“It’s a start, Ahikam. I’d say it’s a start.”

***

Mortar and Pestle, eminently suitable for grinding household idols. (Wikimedia)

***

[See 2 kings 22-23 and 2 Chronicles 34-35 for the story of Huldah, Josiah, Ahikam, Akbor and the rest.]

***

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8 Responses to Turning to a Woman for the Voice of God

  1. Marg says:

    L.O.V.E the title of this piece, and the rest.

  2. Headless Unicorn Guy says:

    Good narrative/dramatization.

  3. Vashra Araeshkigal says:

    Having just gotten into yet. another. argument. about what “godly leadership” looks like, this was quite timely…I had tears when it was pointed out that he tore his robes “before…”

  4. Tricia says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful post! I was assigned to teach Sunday school on King Josiah and was given the SBC curriculum that our church uses. There was no mention of Huldah whatsoever. They completely skipped over her! I tried looking for a kid’s video online to share the story and again there was no mention of her. I asked my class if anyone had ever heard the name Huldah and, not surprisingly, no hands went up. My lesson included her and we talked about seeking wise counsel when there are things we can’t understand. It would be such a great gift to the kingdom if women, such as Huldah and others, were taught in Sunday schools and from church pulpits but, unfortunately, I am starting to think that most churches simply write her out of the narrative. Thank you for sharing a woman’s voice and not skipping over her!

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