Asa’s Changes 15 1The Spirit of God entered Azariah son of Oded. 2Azariah went to meet Asa and said, “Listen to me, Asa and all you people of Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you obey him, you will find him, but if you leave him, he will leave you. 3For a long time Israel was without the true God and without a priest to teach them and without the teachings. 4But when they were in trouble, they turned to the Lord, the God of Israel. They looked for him and found him. 5In those days no one could travel safely. There was much trouble in all the nations. 6One nation would destroy another nation, and one city would destroy another city, because God troubled them with all kinds of distress. 7But you should be strong. Don’t give up, because you will get a reward for your good work.” 8Asa felt brave when he heard these words and the message from Azariah son of Oded the prophet. So he removed the hateful idols from all of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the Lord’s altar that was in front of the porch of the Temple of the Lord. 9Then Asa gathered all the people from Judah and Benjamin and from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were living in Judah. Many people came to Asa even from Israel, because they saw that the Lord, Asa’s God, was with him. 10Asa and these people gathered in Jerusalem in the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s rule. 11At that time they sacrificed to the Lord seven hundred bulls and seven thousand sheep and goats from the valuable things Asa’s army had taken from their enemies. 12Then they made an agreement to obey the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with their whole being. 13Anyone who refused to obey the Lord, the God of Israel, was to be killed. It did not matter if that person was important or unimportant, a man or woman. 14Then Asa and the people made a promise before the Lord, shouting with a loud voice and blowing trumpets and sheep’s horns. 15All the people of Judah were happy about the promise, because they had promised with all their heart. They looked for God and found him. So the Lord gave them peace in all the country. 16King Asa also removed Maacah, his grandmother, from being queen mother, because she had made a terrible Asherah idol. Asa cut down that idol, smashed it into pieces, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17But the places of worship to gods were not removed from Judah. Even so, Asa was faithful all his life. 18Asa brought into the Temple of God the gifts he and his father had given: silver, gold, and utensils. 19There was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s rule.
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