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The reforms that Asa introduced
The Spirit of God came upon Azariah, the son of Obed. Azariah went to talk with Asa, and said to him, “Asa and all you men of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, listen to me. Yahweh is with you whenever you are trusting in him. If you request him to help you, he will help you, but if you abandon him, he will abandon you. For many years the Israeli people did not know the true God, and they did not have priests or God’s laws. But when they experienced trouble, they turned to Yahweh our God, and requested him to help them. And he helped them. At that time, people were not safe when they traveled, because all the people who lived in the nearby countries were experiencing many difficulties. The people of various nations were thoroughly defeated by armies of other nations, and people in some cities were crushed by armies from other cities, because God was allowing them to experience many difficulties. But you people, you must be strong and do not become discouraged, because God will reward you for what you do to please him.”
When Asa heard what the prophet Azariah said, he was encouraged. He commanded his workers to remove all the detestable idols from everywhere in the land of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and from the towns that his soldiers had captured in the hills of the tribe of Ephraim. Asa’s workers repaired the altar where people offered sacrifices to Yahweh that was in front of the entrance to the temple in Jerusalem. Then he gathered all the people of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and many people from the tribes of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon who were living among them. He was able to do that because many people from those tribes in Israel had c toome to Judah when they realized that Yahweh, the God that Asa worshiped, was helping him.
10 After Asa had been ruling for almost 15 years, in May of that year, those people gathered in Jerusalem. 11 At that time they sacrificed to Yahweh 700 bulls and 7,000 sheep and goats, from the animals that they had captured when they defeated the army of Ethiopia/Sudan. 12 They solemnly made an agreement to very sincerely worship Yahweh, the God whom their ancestors worshiped. 13 They promised to execute all those who would not worship Yahweh, including those who were important and those who were not important, both men and women. 14 They shouted and blew trumpets and other horns while they solemnly promised to do that. 15 All the people who were living in Judah were happy with the agreement because they had solemnly and very sincerely promised to keep it. They eagerly requested help from Yahweh, and he helped them. So he enabled them to have peace throughout their country.
16 King Asa’s grandmother Maacah had made a disgusting pole for worshiping the goddess Asherah. So Asa commanded his workers to cut down that pole and chop it into pieces and burn it in the Kidron Valley. He then did not allow Maacah to continue to influence the people because of her being the mother of the previous king. 17 Although Asa’s workers did not get rid of the shrines on the hilltops in Israel, he was very determined to do what pleased Yahweh all his life. 18 He ordered his workers to bring into God’s temple all the silver and gold and other valuable items that he and his father had dedicated to God.
19 There were no more wars in Judah until Asa had been ruling Judah almost 35 years.