15 Then the Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded,2 and he went out to meet King Asa as he was returning from the battle. “Listen to me, Asa!” he shouted. “Listen, all you people of Judah and Benjamin! The Lord will stay with you as long as you stay with him! Whenever you seek him, you will find him. But if you abandon him, he will abandon you.3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach them, and without the Law to instruct them.4 But whenever they were in trouble and turned to the Lord, the God of Israel, and sought him out, they found him.
5 “During those dark times, it was not safe to travel. Problems troubled the people of every land.6 Nation fought against nation, and city against city, for God was troubling them with every kind of problem.7 But as for you, be strong and courageous, for your work will be rewarded.”
8 When Asa heard this message from Azariah the prophet,[a] he took courage and removed all the detestable idols from the land of Judah and Benjamin and in the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the altar of the Lord, which stood in front of the entry room of the Lord’s Temple.
9 Then Asa called together all the people of Judah and Benjamin, along with the people of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had settled among them. For many from Israel had moved to Judah during Asa’s reign when they saw that the Lord his God was with him.10 The people gathered at Jerusalem in late spring,[b] during the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign.
11 On that day they sacrificed to the Lord 700 cattle and 7,000 sheep and goats from the plunder they had taken in the battle.12 Then they entered into a covenant to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, with all their heart and soul.13 They agreed that anyone who refused to seek the Lord, the God of Israel, would be put to death—whether young or old, man or woman.14 They shouted out their oath of loyalty to the Lord with trumpets blaring and rams’ horns sounding.15 All in Judah were happy about this covenant, for they had entered into it with all their heart. They earnestly sought after God, and they found him. And the Lord gave them rest from their enemies on every side.
16 King Asa even deposed his grandmother[c] Maacah from her position as queen mother because she had made an obscene Asherah pole. He cut down her obscene pole, broke it up, and burned it in the Kidron Valley.17 Although the pagan shrines were not removed from Israel, Asa’s heart remained completely faithful throughout his life.18 He brought into the Temple of God the silver and gold and the various items that he and his father had dedicated.
19 So there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
15:8As in Syriac version and Latin Vulgate (see also 15:1); Hebrew reads from Oded the prophet.
15:10Hebrew in the third month. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of May and June.
You'll get this book and many others when you join Bible Gateway Plus. Learn more
You must be logged in to view your newly purchased content. Please log in below or if you don't have an account, creating one is easy and only takes a few moments. After you log in your content will be available in your library.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
Now that you've created a Bible Gateway account, upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus: the ultimate online Bible reading & study experience! Bible Gateway Plus equips you to answer the toughest questions about faith, God, and the Bible with access to a vast digital Bible study library. And it's all integrated seamlessly into your Bible Gateway experience. Try it free for 30 days!