Are you familiar with her name? Pastor’s Wife wasn’t, and I wasn’t either. I’m certain she has read through the Bible more times than I have, and I remember this particular story, but not the name, nor the reference.
The same story is told in 2 Kings 22 and in 2 Chronicles 34. According to Jewish Encyclopedia, scholars disagree as to whether Huldah Gates in the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem may have been named for her. Huldah was a relative of Jeremiah, both being descendants of Rahab by her marriage to Salmon. She was living in the college in Jerusalem and was keeper of the wardrobe. She also was a prophetess, and her words were without much hope for Judah.
We are much more familiar with Josiah, the eight-year old king of Jerusalem, of whom it is written:
And he did that which was right in the sight of the LORD, and walked in all the way of David his father, and turned not aside to the right hand or to the left. (2 Kings 22:2 KJV)
Of course, David was Josiah’s multiple-great-grandfather, but he certainly made a good example to follow. By the time he was twenty, Josiah was concerned about the temple and sent Shaphan to look after it. He was looking for people who get things done, and he was concerned about the physical aspects of God’s house.
And let them deliver it into the hand of the doers of the work, that have the oversight of the house of the LORD: and let them give it to the doers of the work which is in the house of the LORD, to repair the breaches of the house, (2 Kings 22:5 KJV)
Obviously the doers of the work had not been doing their job, and more sadly, it took this effort for the high priest to find what he was supposed to be using to spiritually lead the people.
And Hilkiah the high priest said unto Shaphan the scribe, I have found the book of the law in the house of the LORD. And Hilkiah gave the book to Shaphan, and he read it. (2 Kings 22:8 KJV)
Josiah understood how this could affect his nation.
Go ye, enquire of the LORD for me, and for the people, and for all Judah, concerning the words of this book that is found: for great is the wrath of the LORD that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book, to do according unto all that which is written concerning us. (2 Kings 22:13 KJV)
So they went to Huldah. The Lord told her that the inhabitants of Judah were condemned for their forsaking of God and their seeking other idols. She had another future for Josiah, and gave the reason why:
Because thine heart was tender, and thou hast humbled thyself before the LORD, when thou heardest what I spake against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, that they should become a desolation and a curse, and hast rent thy clothes, and wept before me; I also have heard thee, saith the LORD. (2 Kings 22:19 KJV)
Knowing we cannot save others, are our hearts tender and have we humbled ourselves before the Lord? Do we weep before Him for the others? Do we hearken unto the word of His book?