2 Chronicles 15
Azariah speaks to Asa
1 God's Spirit came to Oded's son Azariah. 2 Azariah went to meet King Asa. He said to him, ‘Listen to me Asa and all you people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. The Lord will be with you while you are faithful to him. If you ask him for help, he will answer you. But if you turn away from him, he will turn away from you. 3 For a long time, the Israelites did not serve the true God. They did not have any priests to teach them what was right. They did not know God's law. 4 But when they were in trouble, they turned to the Lord, Israel's God. They asked him to help them and he answered them. 5 At that time it was not safe to travel very far. There was too much trouble among the people of other countries. 6 One nation would attack and destroy another nation. The people of one city destroyed other cities. God caused all this trouble to happen to those people. 7 But you must be strong. Continue to be brave. God will make your work successful.’
8 Asa felt strong again when he heard God's message from Azariah, son of the prophet Oded. He removed the disgusting idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin. He also removed them from the towns that he had taken in the hill country of Ephraim. He repaired the Lord's altar that was in the yard at the front of the Lord's temple.
Asa brings all the people together in Jerusalem
9 Then King Asa brought all the people together who belonged to the tribes of Judah and Benjamin. He also brought people from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had come to live in Judah. Many people from the other tribes of Israel had come to Judah to serve King Asa. They had seen that the Lord his God was with him to help him.
10 All these people met together in Jerusalem in the 15th year after Asa had become king. They met in the third month of the year. 11 At that time they offered many animals to the Lord as sacrifices. They were animals that they had taken from their enemies. There were 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep. 12 They made a serious promise that they would faithfully serve the Lord, the God of their ancestors. 13 If anyone refused to worship the Lord, Israel's God, they would punish that person with death. They agreed to do that, whoever the person was, young or old, male or female. 14 As they made this promise to the Lord, they shouted loudly to show that they agreed. They also made a loud noise with trumpets and sheep's horns. 15 All Judah's people were happy to make this promise, because they truly wanted to serve the Lord. They wanted him to help them and he answered them.
After that, the Lord made them safe from their enemies all around them.
Asa punishes Maakah because she worshipped idols
16 King Asa also told his grandmother Maakah that she could no longer have authority as the Queen Mother. This was because she had made a disgusting Asherah pole to worship. Asa cut down the Asherah pole and he burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Asa did not remove the altars on all the hills in Israel, but he served the Lord faithfully for his whole life. 18 He brought into God's temple the things that he and his father had made as gifts for God. They used silver and gold to make some of these things.
15:16Maakah had been the wife of King Rehoboam. As ‘Queen Mother’, she had authority to make important decisions.
15:16The Kidron Valley was outside Jerusalem.
19 There were no more wars in Judah until Asa had been king for 35 years.