A Bittersweet Message

[Huldah] said to them, “This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and provoked me to anger by all the idols their hands have made, my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the LORD, ‘This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 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. Therefore I will gather you to your fathers, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’ ”
So they took her answer back to the king.
2 Kings 15-20

The five men who went to see her (Hilkah, Ahikam, Acbbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah) took Huldah the Prophetess’ words back to the king. It was the same message that Judah had been hearing for a long time: because you were evil, I will destroy you. This time, though, the LORD threw in a twist: because the current reigning king of Judah was not evil, I will spare this generation but the next one I will destroy. This is the very definition of bittersweet. I will destroy your nation, but you will be spared. It’s hard to rejoice when you children and grandchildren would be laid to waste before

I suspect many of you are experiencing those bittersweet points in time: perhaps a loved one who had Alzheimers recently passed away (you’re very sorry that person has passed but you’re also relieved that the Alzheimer patient is no longer in control-or your days of taking care of that person have finally finished!). Or maybe your son had begun drinking heavily but decided to enlist in the military (the discipline in the military would at least temporarily put a kabosh on the heavy drinking, but at the same time, military folk go to war). Both are examples of bittersweet situations.

Ask God to help you sort out those bittersweet emotions. Sending a perfect son to be a sacrifice for a sinful race of people is perhaps the ultimate bittersweet experience.

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