1The Spirit of God came on Azariah. Azariah was Obed’s son. 2Azariah went to meet Asa. Azariah 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 look for the Lord, you will find him. But if you leave him, he will leave you. 3For a long time Israel was without the true God. And they were without a teaching priest, and without the law. 4But when the people of Israel had trouble, they turned to the Lord God again. He is the God of Israel. They looked for the Lord and they found him. 5In those times of trouble, no person could travel safely. There was much trouble in all the nations. 6One nation would destroy another nation and one city would destroy another city. This was happening because God troubled them with all kinds of trouble. 7But Asa, you and the people of Judah and Benjamin, be strong. Don’t be weak, don’t give up because you will get a reward for your good work!” 8Asa felt encouraged when he heard these words and the message from Obed the prophet. Then he removed the hated idols from the whole area of Judah and Benjamin. Asa also removed those hated idols from the towns he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. And he repaired the Lord’s altar that was in front of the porch of the Lord’s temple. 9Then Asa gathered all the people from Judah and Benjamin. He also gathered the people from the family groups of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who had moved from the country of Israel to live in the country of Judah. A great many of those people came to Judah because they saw that the Lord, Asa’s God, was with Asa. 10Asa and those people gathered together in Jerusalem on the third month in the 15th year of Asa’s rule. 11At that time they sacrificed 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats to the Lord. Asa’s army had taken those animals and other valuable things from their enemies. 12Then they made an agreement to serve the Lord God with all their heart and with all their soul. He is the God their ancestors served. 13Any person that refused to serve the Lord God was to be killed. It did not matter if that person was important or not important or if that person was a man or woman. 14Then Asa and the people made an oath to the Lord. They shouted out with a loud voice. They also blew on trumpets and rams’ horns. 15All the people of Judah were happy about the oath, because they had promised with all their heart. They followed God 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 mother, from being queen mother. Asa did this because she had set up one of those awful poles to honor the goddess Asherah. Asa cut down that Asherah pole and smashed it into small pieces. Then he burned the pieces in the Kidron Valley. 17The high places were not removed from Judah, but Asa’s heart was faithful to the Lord all of Asa’s life. 18And Asa put the holy gifts that he and his father had given into the temple of God. Those things were made of silver and gold. 19There was no more war until the 35th year of Asa’s rule.