About a year ago, I was at a coffee shop being interviewed about one of my books. After the discussion, I sat down and struck up a conversation with a young man. He had heard the interview, and as we talked, he shared that he was an atheist.
I really enjoyed my conversation with him. He was intelligent, listened to my responses, and countered with some ideas of his own. I was ready to talk (’cause I’m a talker and I love getting to know new people), but not as prepared to share truth with him as I wish I had been.
Prepared to Share Truth: Lessons from Huldah
Huldah was recognized as one who heard from the Lord. When the king of Judah needed guidance from God, she was sought out for the answers.
You see, Josiah became king at the age of eight. His father had not followed the ways of God, and the people no longer sought the God of Israel. They had erected altars to false gods, leaving the temple of God in disrepair.
By the age of sixteen, Josiah had begun to seek the Lord. In just a few years, he had the evil altars torn down and their idols destroyed. Over the next few years, the king had the temple repaired and restored as well.
While working on those repairs, the high priest found something that changed everything.
“While they were bringing out the money that had been taken into the temple of the LORD, Hilkiah the priest found the Book of the Law of the LORD that had been given through Moses.”2 Chronicles 34:14, NIV84
When the words of the Law were read to Josiah, he realized that his people had been living in rebellion to the God they claimed to worship.
“When the king heard the words of the Law, he tore his robes.”2 Chronicles 34:19
Tearing the robes was a sign of great sorrow and despair. Josiah’s heart was broken when he heard the truth of God’s Word. He asked for the high priest to “go and inquire of the LORD” for him and the people, because he knew God’s anger must burn against them for their apostasy.
The high priest could have consulted the prophets of that day, Jeremiah or Zephaniah, but for some reason he sought out a woman named Huldah.
“Hilkiah and those the king had sent with him went to speak to the prophetess Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe.”2 Chronicles 34:22
Huldah was the wife of the keeper of the wardrobe, so maybe she was consulted because she was closer and more accessible. For whatever reason, she obviously was known as a woman who heard from God.
Do people know us as women who are close to God? Do others seek us out when they need wisdom and discernment from the Lord?
If we follow Jesus, people should see something different about us. They should know that we are close to God and can share truth from His Word when they have a need.
Huldah was consulted, and she didn’t hesitate to share the truth.
“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–all the curses written in the book that has been read in the presence of the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all that their hands have made, my anger will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched.”‘”2 Chronicles 34:23-25
First, Huldah was ready with the answers they sought. She didn’t hesitate to share the word of God because she was already in tune with the Lord. And she was a wardrobe assistant, not a biblical scholar.
When we spend time with God in His Word and in prayer, our hearts will be close to His. As a result, we should have a word ready to share with them.
“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.”Proverbs 25:11
Second, Huldah was quick to say, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says.” She didn’t share her opinion or give her ideas about the situation. She just shared the Word of God with them.
“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”Proverbs 18:2
Third, Huldah didn’t hesitate to share a difficult truth. I know we may sometimes dread conversations about topics of controversy in our culture. We don’t want to seem intolerant.
But we need to remember that it’s not our opinion that matters. We can share that “this is what the Lord says,” because God is not intolerant. He is a God of love who has offered mercy and grace to “whosoever” would believe by faith and receive Him in their hearts (John 3:16).
“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”Ephesians 4:15
And Huldah trusted the power of God’s Word to bring the change.
“So they took her answer back to the king. Then the king called together all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. He went up to the temple of the LORD with the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem, the priests and the Levites–all the people from the least to the greatest. He read in their hearing all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which had been found in the temple of the LORD. The king stood by his pillar and renewed the covenant in the presence of the LORD–to follow the LORD and keep his commands, regulations, and decrees with all his heart and all his soul, and to obey the words of the covenant written in this book.”2 Chronicles 34:29-31
God’s Word has the power to change our lives, our families, our churches, and our nation. We don’t have to have a seminary degree. We don’t have to give our own opinion.
“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”Hebrews 4:12
But we should always be prepared to give the reason for the hope that we have.
“But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.”1 Peter 3:15-16
If we want to be prepared to share God’s truth when people need it, we must spend time with God, study His Word, pray for courage, and then trust the power of His Word to do what only He can do.