15 God’s Spirit came to Azariah, son of Oded. 2 Azariah went to Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa and all you men from Judah and Benjamin. The Lord is with you when you are with him. If you will dedicate your lives to serving him, he will accept you. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest who taught correctly, and without Moses’ Teachings. 4 But when they were in trouble, they turned to the Lord God of Israel. When they searched for him, he let them find him. 5 At those times no one could come and go in peace, because everyone living in the land had a lot of turmoil. 6 One nation crushed another nation; one city crushed another. God had tormented them with every kind of trouble. 7 But you must remain strong and not become discouraged. Your actions will be rewarded.”
8 When Asa heard the prophet Oded’s words of prophecy, he was encouraged and put away the detestable idols from all of Judah, Benjamin, and the cities he had captured in the mountains of Ephraim. He also repaired the Lord’s altar in front of the Lord’s entrance hall.
9 Then Asa gathered all the people from Judah and Benjamin and the foreigners who had come from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon. (Many of them had come to him from Israel when they saw that Asa’s God, the Lord, was with him.) 10 In the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign, they gathered in Jerusalem. 11 On that day they sacrificed to the Lord a part of the loot they had brought with them: 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep. 12 They made an agreement with one another to dedicate their lives to serving the Lord God of their ancestors with all their heart and soul. 13 All people (young or old, male or female) who refused to dedicate their lives to the Lord God of Israel were to be killed. 14 Asa and the people swore their oath to the Lord with shouts, singing, and the blowing of trumpets and rams’ horns. 15 All the people of Judah were overjoyed because of the oath, since they took the oath wholeheartedly. They took great pleasure in looking for the Lord, and he let them find him. So the Lord surrounded them with peace.
16 King Asa also removed his grandmother Maacah from the position of queen mother because she made a statue of the repulsive goddess Asherah. Asa cut the statue down, crushed it, and burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Although the illegal worship sites in Israel were not taken down, Asa remained committed to the Lord his entire life. 18 He brought into God’s temple the silver, the gold, and the utensils he and his father had set apart as holy.
King Asa’s War with King Baasha
19 There was no war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
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