She said to them, “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: Say to the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the Lord says: I am about to bring disaster on this place and on its inhabitants, fulfilling all the curses written in the book that they read in the presence of the king of Judah, because they have abandoned me and burned incense to other gods so as to anger me with all the works of their hands. My wrath will be poured out on this place, and it will not be quenched.’ Say this to the king of Judah who sent you to inquire of the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord God of Israel says: As for the words that you heard, because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard his words against this place and against its inhabitants, and because you humbled yourself before me, and you tore your clothes and wept before me, I myself have heard’—this is the Lord’s declaration. ‘I will indeed gather you to your fathers, and you will be gathered to your grave in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster that I am bringing on this place and on its inhabitants.’”
Then they reported to the king.
So the king sent messengers and gathered all the elders of Judah and Jerusalem. The king went up to the Lord’s temple with all the men of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, as well as the priests and the Levites—all the people from the oldest to the youngest. He read in their hearing all the words of the book of the covenant that had been found in the Lord’s temple. Then the king stood at his post and made a covenant in the Lord’s presence to follow the Lord and to keep his commands, his decrees, and his statutes with all his heart and with all his soul in order to carry out the words of the covenant written in this book.
He had all those present in Jerusalem and Benjamin agree to it. So all the inhabitants of Jerusalem carried out the covenant of God, the God of their ancestors.
So Josiah removed everything that was detestable from all the lands belonging to the Israelites, and he required all who were present in Israel to serve the Lord their God. Throughout his reign they did not turn aside from following the Lord, the God of their ancestors.
2 Chronicles 34:23-33
Huldah’s message was not good news. She told the messengers from Josiah that God had already set in motion the curses that were listed for breaking the covenant with God. They were going to happen. Still, the curses would be delayed, at least for Josiah’s lifetime. God recognized Josiah’s humility and said that Josiah’s eyes would not see the disaster that He was bringing on Jerusalem and it’s inhabitants.
Humility and contrition before God is always a good response in situations like this. In his Psalm of repentance over his sin with Bathsheba David affirmed, “The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. You will not despise a broken and humbled heart, God.” This promise held true for Josiah, as well. God would not overlook his brokenness and humility over the historical sins of the people of Judah.
When we are confronted with our own shortcomings, it’s good to remember that God is looking for us to soften our hearts to His Spirit and let go of our pride toward Him. He will react graciously to a humble heart of repentance.
- How do you respond when confronted with your own sin by the Holy Spirit?