Summary: Hulda’s message as a prophet had an impact because she knew the word of God and had a concern for God’s people
This is our third and final message from II Chronicles. The writer chronicles the successes and failures of the kings of Judah as this little nation careens toward moral and spiritual failure and eventual extinction when Jerusalem falls and the Jews are carried off into exile.
The list records what the kings did, but more important than their political accomplishments is whether or not they were obedient to God.
• Rehoboam: Abandoned God’s law.
• Abijah : Relied on the Lord.
• Asa: Did right in God’s sight.
• Jehoshaphat: Did right in God’s sight.
• Jehoram: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Ahaziah: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Athaliah: Did evil in the sight of the Lord. .
• Joash: Did right in God’s sight.
• Amaziah: Did right in God’s sight. .
• Uzziah: Did right until he became proud.
• Jotham: Did right in God’s sight.
• Ahaz: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Hezekiah: Did right in God’s sight.
• Manasseh: Did evil, but repented.
• Amon: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Josiah: Did right in God’s sight.
• Jehoahaz: (Three months)
• Jehoiakim: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Jehoiachin: Did evil in the sight of the Lord.
• Zedekiah: Did evil. Did not humble himself.
Note that there were eight who did right in the sight of God. That was not the case for even one of the kings of Israel. Even so, because of pride and evil, Judah eventually fails spiritually and falls politically.
All is not lost, though. In the background we can hear the steady beat of God’s purposes being played out. As you read the Chronicles, you can’t help but observe how powerful God is. The armies may fight, but God decides the battle. Other gods may vie for loyalty, but the Lord is “greater than all gods” (II Chron. 2:5). The people may sin, but God offers forgiveness and healing. God not only brings judgment, He makes grace available as well.
As we read in 7:14. “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” We find echoes of this verse in several of the stories.
For example, in Chapter 26 we read about King Uzziah who started out as king at age 16 and he did some things right. But, eventually, he became well-known for his successes and his successes went to his head. The Bible says he became proud. He did not humble himself. As a result, he was afflicted with a terrible disease and died a leper.
We find another example in Chapter 33 where we read about King Manasseh, who became king at age 12, and lasted 55 years. The Bible tells us that Manasseh did much evil in the sight of the Lord. However, when the Lord brought punishment upon him through the nation of Assyria who carted him off to Babylon, we read in v. 12, “While he was in distress he entreated the favor of the Lord his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his ancestors. He prayed to him and God heard his plea and restored him again to Jerusalem. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God.” God was at work and Manasseh finally recognized it.
Then we get to Chapter 34 and we read about Josiah who became king when he was 8 years old. This time we read that he did what was right in the sight of the Lord. What did he do right? For one thing, at the age of 16 “he began to seek the God of his ancestor David” and when he turned 20 he went throughout the country and destroyed the altars to false gods, beat the images into powder, and demolished all the incense altars in the land.
Young people, are you beginning to seek God, to learn who he is and what his purpose is for you? Whether you are 8, 12, or 16, it is not too early to begin to seriously consider what God wants to accomplish in your life. Read the Bible. Talk with your Sunday school teachers. Pray to God for guidance.
And for the rest of us, young or old, are we as decisive as Josiah was at age 20 to put out of our lives all of those things that keep us from following and obeying God? You may have things in your house or in your schedule that you need to cut out so that you can be faithful to God. Are you willing to do that?