NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR MARCH 21, 2021 : TOPIC – HULDAH: A TRUE PROPHETESS.
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Date: Sunday, 21st March, 2020.
TOPIC: HULDAH: A TRUE PROPHETESS.
Devotional Reading: Psalm 25:1-10.
Background Scriptures :2 Kings 22.
Lesson Scripture: 2 Kings 22:14-20.
Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the LORD when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your robes, and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the LORD. 2 Kings 22:19
By the end of the lesson class members should be able to:
• Identify the impact of Huldah in making known the mind of God to the king and his people;
• Discuss the reasons God was angry with His people;
• Verbalise their determination to live up to God’s standard, both within and outside the church.
One of the major problems of the people of Israel was inconsistency in their relationship with God. They did not remember God’s covenant with their forefathers and the constant reminder not to worship other gods. They also forgot God’s deliverance from their slave masters in Egypt and the wonders in the wilderness. Unfortunately, before Josia became king around 624 BC, Judah and Israel were influenced by their neighbouring countries to turn their backs on God. They were involved in idol worshipping, which was against the will of God. However, Josiah did what was pleasing in the sight of God. Immediately he discovered the book of the law during the repairs of the temple, he tore his clothe in disappointment. It became clear that God was angry with them because their forefathers had not acted according to the book of the law. Therefore, he commanded that God should be consulted about the teachings of the book (2 Kings 22:3-13). It was at such a time that Huldah; a wise prophetess emerged and helped her country as she spoke the mind of God to His people.
The old saying is true that “collection of wisdom from others does not make an elder a fool. Prophetess Huldah is one of the unsung heroes/heroines in the Bible. When she was consulted about the teachings of the book of the law, she displayed God’s wisdom. She interpreted the time, the situation, and the principles of breakthrough. The focal point of today’s lesson is the important role Huldah played as she warned the community of Israel against the impending disaster.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. SEARCH FOR A SEER: [2 Kings 22:14]
The book of the law (probably a copy of the book of Deuteronomy) was found during the repairs of the temple, during the reign of King Josiah, having abolished pagan worship. The discovery was reported by the high priest, Hilkiah to the court secretary, Shaphan (v. 8). When he reported and read it to King Josiah, he tore his clothes in dismay and ordered that God should be consulted about the teachings of the book. His prompt response was necessary because he knew that God was angry with their ancestors because they failed to obey the laws. Therefore, it became imperative, according to verse 14 to search for the help of a sage who would interpret the content of the book and possibly challenge the people unto godly fear. Therefore, Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asahiah consulted a woman prophetess named Huldah, who lived in the Second District of Jerusalem. She was the wife of Shallum, a keeper of the royal wardrobe. They gave a vivid description of what had happened. Nevertheless, there are three important points in the lesson:
• King Josiah knew the consequences of their forefathers’ disobedience to God. Therefore, he was desperate and acted promptly regarding finding solution to the interpretation of the book of the law, so they could avoid the impending doom.
• He identified the right source of finding solution. He did not merely call for prayer and fasting neither was he involved in the game of shifting blames.
• The four men acted rightly in their search for a prophet who would interpret the law accurately.
Without doubt, the decision to consult Huldah for a solution was an indication that she was a woman of integrity who made great impact in her days and generation. Although Huldah was not one of the popular characters in the Bible, yet she was a woman with authority and wisdom to have been considered the best person to be consulted for solution concerning a problem in Israel. She was found worthy to instruct the king on what to do in order to avert God’s punishment for the people of Israel and Judah. When our relationship with God is steady, we will receive and walk in the wisdom of God and be able to proffer solutions to some of the problems facing our world today.
1. What are some specific medium people consult while trying to find solutions to the their problems today?
2. Discuss the situation in our country vis-à-vis the situation in Judah. Compare the similarities and differences.
B. HULDAH’S WISE COUNSEL: [2 Kings 22:15-18]
King Josiah’s decision and the initiative of Hilkiah, Ahikam, Acbor, and Shaphan to make consultation for the interpretation of the book of the law are worth mentioning. Their meeting with Huldah was rewarding. She told them to go back to the king with the following messages from God:
• God’s plan to punish the people of Jerusalem, according to the book of the law;
• How they rejected God and began to offer sacrifices to other gods and goddesses of the land, thereby stirring up God’s anger;
• God’s continuous anger against them. In fact, the reading and interpretation of the book of the law are indications of how Judah had fallen and the penalty.
Although Huldah is one of the unsung heroines, yet she played a significant role in the history of the people of Israel. She interpreted the content of the law with God’s wisdom and integrity. She was straightforward and true to the point without embellishment in order to please the king and his people. Unlike some modern-day prophets, who intentionally misinterpret God’s Word to suit their clients without minding the consequences. Having been endowed with divine wisdom, Huldah boldly said, “The Lord is going to bring disaster on this place and its people” (2 Kings 22:16). Undoubtedly, the impact she made in Israel cannot be overemphasised; she used her intellectual and spiritual gifts to help God’s people understand His mind and provoke them unto repentance. Such ministers and believers are needed in our contemporary time than ever before men and women who have the fear of God and would boldly challenge wicked activities because of God’s impending doom, if the people fail to repent.
1. Are there women like Prophetess Huldah in this generation who would boldly say, ‘Thus says the Lord’? If yes, how can they be identified?
2. What do you think will happen when people listen to misguided voices or fake prophecies?
C. GOD’S VERDICT: [2 King 22:19-20]
Huldah was able to balance her wise counsel. It was both for the people and King Josiah who was eager to know the content of the book of the law. To the king she said, “Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people, that they would become accursed and laid waste, and because you tore your clothes, and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord.” (v. 19) According to the passage, King Josiah will be exonerated from the imminent punishment for these reasons:
• He repented and humbled himself before God when he heard about God’s verdict. By implication, there was an evidence of soberness and desire to correct their mistake, which reveals the status of his heart(responsive and humble);
• He tore his clothes as a sign of mourning, as it was their custom;
• He wept in God’s presence. Therefore, God promised to delay the execution of His judgment on the people of Israel until after his death. In other words, the disasters would come upon the people after the death of King Josiah. The men returned and delivered the message to the king
God does not tolerate sin because He is a holy God. Therefore, His plan to bring disaster to the people of Israel for failing to obey everything written in the book of the law is in order. However, King Josiah was exempted from the looming punishment because of his humble and remorseful disposition to the sinful lifestyle of his people. The lesson is that God hears anyone who comes to Him in repentance, humility and prayer. He will make a covenant of peace with him/her, like He did with King Josiah (V. 20b), despite the fact that God promised to make it a terrifying sight and a cursed place. Ultimately, King Josiah died in battle and was given a befitting burial by his own people (23:29-30), according to the promise of God.
1. What lessons should Christian leaders learn from King Josiah’s response to God’s mandate from Prophetess Huldah?
2. Discuss some genuine signs of true repentance and how it can be sustained.
3. Discuss what it means to die in peace, as used in verse 20b.
FELLOWSHIP AND MINISTRY BUILDING ACTIVITIES
• Let class members highlight four things they will change in their lives, based on today’s lesson in order to impact the society.
• Encourage class members to intercede on behalf of their nation.
• Believers in Christ should always depend on God for guidance before taking any step.
• No matter how difficult it seems, learn to speak the truth at all times.
• God honours prayers from a penitent heart.
• The righteous will not be punished with the unrighteous.
• God knows and sees everything we do.
• Christians should endeavour to deliver messages without subtraction or addition.