Huldah & Fanny Crosby- Bible women
By Jabez Muthyala
March 8, 2021
Huldah Gates (Eastern side Triple Gates) leading into Jerusalem Temple compound
“Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, ‘I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord’. When King Josiah heard the words of Book of the Law, he tore his robes. So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Achbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum (the son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas), keeper of the king’s wardrobe. She dwelt at Jerusalem in the College (New Quarter). And they spoke with her” 2 Kings 22
One of the gates of the Second temple (Herod’s temple) that is intact even today is the Huldah Gates. So named after a famous woman in the Bible, Huldah the prophetess. She was the Principal of a theological college, (in those days called the School of Prophets). She lived in the reign of King Josiah, (641-09 BC). King Josiah’s dad was an idolatrous guy Amon who worshipped Baal. But when he was murdered in a palace coup, Josiah ascended the Throne at the age of 8 years. He grew in the Lord under the tutelage of godly father and mother figures. So when Josiah was 26 yrs old, the Holy Spirit prompted him to cleanse the temple, do some repairs and reinstitute Worship. As the priests were cleansing the temple, they found an old copy of the Book of the Law. Book of the Law, could have meant, either the full Torah (ie the Pentateuch) or just the Book of Deuteronomy. Copies of scriptures were available all through history, so there was nothing remarkable about that. My sense is that it could have been a personal copy of a famous king (say David or Solomon) or some Prophet etc, whatever.
So as Josiah began to read that to himself and the court, he was convicted that the miseries of the present age were because his fathers served idols. The Bible decided the way the nation was to be governed and social life and personal choices and they had gone too far. He immediately sent to Huldah the Prophetess, a team of Priests and Cabinet ministers to pray for him and the nation- If perhaps that God would show Mercy upon the nation and the Judgement spoken of in the Book would be averted. The Holy Spirit spoke to Huldah and told that in Josiah’s time judgement would be averted, that God is opening a window of Mercy. Josiah genuinely repented and took the people back to the true meaning of sacrifices. He purged the land of idolatry. People repented and there was a great Revival. Josiah lived another 13 years. Judgement came only 25 years after his death in Zedekiah’s time.
The prophets of that time spoke of Jesus Christ and his coming and gave hope to the people, that though judgement was inevitable, God’s kindness would still be upon those who followed him. Jeremiah spoke of the coming of Jesus and the New Covenant. Zephaniah the older prophet too spoke that God will purge his people, but Jesus will come and live in Jerusalem that believers would be really happy in the shadow of his love. Huldah’s response from God encouraged Josiah to pursue godly reforms – spiritual and in society. Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Huldah and perhaps her students too played a great role in turning the people back to God. There ensued a Great revival in Josiah’s time.
What she did for Israel then was recognised, and the Southern Wall’s gates in Jesus’ time were named after her. Women are very important in God’s Kingdom. Its time you took your call seriously. Minding the house and career is good, but God wants you to be a prophetess and a Church builder. Not from behind your husband, but leading families, Churches and nations back to God.
Fanny Crosby was a blind woman. Her eyes were destroyed by wrong medicine from doctor, even as an infant. She never grumbled but built her faith. In her teenage she memorized the 4 gospels, large portions of scripture and many Psalms. She wrote so many Hymns, and is called the mother of modern congregational singing. Composed about 8000 Hymns.
Blessed Assurance, Pass me not O gentle Saviour, To God be the Glory, All the way my saviour leads me etc are some immortal classics. Sankey attributed a lot of the fruits of Moody & Sankey’s crusades to the singing of Fanny Crosby’s hymns.
She married Van Alstyne, also a blind person. Had a rocky marriage and separated after 20 years of living, but they remained in contact and faithful to the end. She never owned a house, gave away all her wealth from writing Hymns and poems. She was an activist for educating the Blind people, and the first women to address the US senate, she appeared before Joint Houses of Congress. Sang in the White house. More importantly she lived her faith in the ordinary common place- friends and church and society. She could play the Piano, Organ, Harp and the guitar, sang Soprano. She was an incredible person. In all of human history there will be very few people like that. Eternity will show us billions who have come to Christ because of her songs and faith journey. Women and girls, taking your life callings seriously. it’s time for you to begin your journey in her footsteps. Jesus needs you in the frontlines of the Gospel.
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