So Hilkiah and those whom the king had sent went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe (now she lived in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter) and spoke to her to that effect. And she said to them, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: ‘Tell the man who sent you to me, Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will bring disaster upon this place and upon its inhabitants, all the curses that are written in the book that was read before the king of Judah. Because they have forsaken me and have made offerings to other gods, that they might provoke me to anger with all the works of their hands, therefore my wrath will be poured out on this place and will not be quenched. But to the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, thus shall you say to him, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: Regarding the words that you have heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and its inhabitants, and you have humbled yourself before me and have torn your clothes and wept before me, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. Behold, I will gather you to your fathers, and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace, and your eyes shall not see all the disaster that I will bring upon this place and its inhabitants.’” And they brought back word to the king. 2 Chronicles 34:22-28.
Josiah was only eight when he became King, but even a child knows when things are bad enough. Yes, his father had repented of his evil, but much of that sin had already been institutionalized. The idol industry and all its related services continued to roll along. When Josiah was sixteen, he began to seek the Lord and at twenty, he began to tear down the idols and utterly destroyed them. But it wasn’t until he was twenty-six that the book of the law was found and read to him. And that’s when he found out how much trouble he and his people were in with God.
The next step Josiah takes is to find out when the judgment will come. He has someone find a prophetess, named Huldah, who tells him these disasters written in the book are on the way, but not in his lifetime. God is honoring his tender heart by postponing the inevitable.
In 1981 my wife and I had discovered the Book. We recognized what trouble we were in and radically changed our priorities. We trusted in Jesus and turned from our sin. At that time, we discovered that a lot of people were also turning to God. It was a movement! But eventually, it slowed, stopped, and forgot the way. Eight years ago, we rediscovered our lost love and our zeal. We moved to Homosassa and found a lot of like-minded people. Then we moved back to Gainesville. Something is definitely missing here. There are many substitutes for obedience here, but we don’t have the real thing.
I think we gave forgotten that God is holy. He isn’t just trustworthy, loyally, helpful, courteous, kind, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. He is not a boy scout. And he is not manageable. We are to obey him, fear him, worship him. As we love him more and fear him less, we must not forget that he is holy, and that he took away our sin so that we could be holy, too.