In 2 Chronicles 34, God begins the story of Josiah, eight years old when he becomes king of Judah. Eight, the number of circumcision, a sign of new creation (see Rom. 2:28-29, Col. 2:11-13).
And in case God didn’t catch our attention the first time, He gives us a few more sparks from His guiding Lamp.
In verse 3, SPARK! we read that in the eighth year of Josiah’s reign, “while he was still a youth”, he began to serve the Lord (Psalm 131:2).
And in the 12th year, SPARK! Josiah tore down all the high places, the idols and the altars to the false gods (see Rev. 12:1)!
The text skips rapidly ahead, next illuminating Josiah’s 18th year as king, as he and the high priest Hilkiah begin to repair the house of the Lord their God. Where, after they have emptied out all the money they found and given it to everyone doing the work, Hilkiah finds the book of the law.
Hilkiah gives it to Shaphan the scribe, who reads it in the presence of the king. And the text says that when King Josiah heard what God requires of His people, he grieved over the people’s sin and over the wrath of God. Even more, as a sign of his intense sorrow,
When the king heard the words of the law, he tore his clothes.
2 Chronicles 34:19
We read on. The page lights up again! For this hearer of the Word, this young king who has already begun serving the Lord, SPARK! He knows that he must also be a doer (Romans 2:13, James 1:22).
But who will teach him how?
Now stand still for the mystery. See what our God next ignites in the text! There is simply no end to the magnificence of the Bible! Watch how the LIGHT beams from the page!
Because where does Josiah of the torn clothes send his six trusted men but to a woman in Jerusalem. And not just any woman but Huldah the prophetess, wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah.
Huldah, wife of the keeper of the wardrobe.
Without hesitation, the prophetess Huldah tells these six seeking men the truth, that a day of judgement is coming. This wife of the keeper of the wardrobe speaks the word of the Lord, that in that day of judgement, God offers salvation. In her words, we meet the God who hears. Now read what Huldah says for yourself.
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, tore your clothes and wept before Me,
I TRULY HAVE HEARD YOU.
In this story of the child king Josiah (2 Kings 23), God speaks again the history of His saving power through all time, in all space.
He shows us our failure in our father Adam.
He opens our eyes to the clothes of unworthiness we wear in the presence of His perfect holiness.
And wonder of wonders! He guides us to the Holy City, the place where His Bride already resides, wife of Jesus Christ, the keeper of the Garments of Salvation.
Here, through His Bride the church, He instructs us in the paths of righteousness, for His Name’s sake (Psalm 23:3).
And what next? See here, how Huldah’s final words pull back the veil of heaven, our victory over sin and death.
Behold, I will gather you to your fathers
and you shall be gathered to your grave in peace,
so your eyes will not see all the evil which I will bring on this place and on its inhabitants.
2 Chronicles 34:28
God has heard our cries, and our eyes will not see evil. For us, the end times have come and gone, and peace is already ours.
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.