2 Chronicles 15

Azariah speaks to Asa

1 God's Spirit came on Azariah, Oded's son. 2 He went out to meet Asa and he said to him, ‘Listen to me Asa and all you men from Judah and Benjamin. The Lord will be with you while you are with him. If you look for him, you will find him. But if you go away from him, he will go away from you. 3 Israel's people have been without the only God that there really is for a long time. They have not had any priests to teach them. And they have not really had God's Law. 4 But when they were in trouble they turned to the Lord, Israel's God. They looked for him and they found him. 5 At that time it was not safe to go on journeys. The people in all the nations were always fighting. 6 One nation would destroy another nation. The people from one city destroyed another city. God was causing every kind of trouble for all those people. 7 But you be strong and do not be afraid. God will be good to you because your work gives pleasure to him.’

Asa does more things to give pleasure to the Lord

8 When Asa heard those words of Azariah, son of the prophet Oded, he became very brave. He took away all the very bad idols from the country of the tribes called Judah and Benjamin. He also took them from the towns that he had won among the hills in Ephraim. And he did repairs to the Lord's altar that was in front of the first part of the Lord's house.

9 Then he brought all his people together. They were from Judah and Benjamin. And there were some people from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who lived in Judah. Many people like that had come to him from Israel because the Lord, Asa's God was with him.

Asa brings all the people together in Jerusalem

10 These people met together in Jerusalem in the 15th year after Asa had become king. They met in the third month. 11 At that time they sacrificed many animals to the Lord. They killed 700 cows and 7,000 sheep that they had taken from their enemies. 12 They promised the Lord, the God of their ancestors, that they would obey all his laws. They really wanted to do that as well as they could. 13 They decided to kill anyone who would not obey the Lord, Israel's God. They would kill them whether they were important or not important, man or woman. 14 They gave a very serious promise to the Lord. They shouted with loud voices and with the noise of trumpets and horns. 15 All Judah's people were happy because they had given this promise to God. They really wanted to obey the Lord. They really wanted to find him. So he let them find him. Then the Lord gave them peace with all the nations round them.

Asa punishes Maakah because she worshipped idols

16 Asa took away his grandmother Maakah's special honour. He would not let people call her queen. He did that because she had made a very bad idol of the false god Asherah. He cut it down and he broke it into pieces. Then he burned it in the Kidron Valley. 17 Asa did not remove out of Israel the high places for worship to false gods. But Asa loved the Lord as well as he could for his whole life. 18 He took the silver and gold and the other things that he and his father had saved for God. And he put them into God's house.

19 Judah did not have to fight again until Asa had been king for more than 35 years.