1 After this, the Spirit of God came to rest on Oded's son Azariah, 2 so he went out to meet Asa and rebuked him: 3 "Listen to me, Asa, Judah, and Benjamin! The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will allow you to find him, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. Israel lived for years without the true God, priests to teach them, and the Law, 4 but they turned to the LORD God of Israel in their distress. When they sought him, he let them become reacquainted with him. 5 "During those days, it wasn't safe for anyone to come and go, because many civil disturbances afflicted everyone who lived in the territories. 6 Nation battled nation, and city fought city, because God was afflicting them all with every kind of distress. 7 Now as for you, be strong and never be discouraged, because there will be reward for your work."
8 Encouraged by what Oded's son Azariah the prophet had said in his prophecy, Asa removed the detestable idols from throughout the entire territories of Judah and Benjamin, and from the cities that he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He repaired the LORD's altar that stood in front of the vestibule of the LORD's Temple. 9 Then he gathered together all of Judah, Benjamin, and people from Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were living among them, since many people had defected to him from Israel when they learned that the LORD his God was with him.
10 They all assembled in Jerusalem during the third month of the fifteenth year of Asa's reign. 11 They sacrificed to the LORD that day 700 oxen and 7,000 sheep from the spoil that they had brought with them. 12 They also entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their ancestors with all their heart and soul, 13 and they further agreed that whoever would refuse to seek the LORD God of Israel was to be executed, whether important or unimportant, man or woman. 14 They also made a vow to the LORD with loud voices, shouting, trumpets, and horns. 15 Everybody in Judah was very glad to make their oath, because they had made their vow with all their heart and had sought him with all of their might, and they found him! The LORD also gave them rest in their surrounding lands.
16 King Asa removed his mother Maacah from her position as Queen Mother because she had made a detestable image dedicated to Asherah. He cut down his mother's idol, crushed it, and burned it at the Kidron Brook. 17 Nevertheless, the high places were not removed from Israel, even though Asa's heart was blameless all of his life. 18 Asa brought into God's Temple the things that his father had dedicated, as well as his own dedicated gifts such as silver, gold, and temple service implements.