Bible Reading / Book By Book: 1 Kings to Psalms
Day 45 / 2 Chronicles 14 - 15
Chapters 11-13 tell of the rest of Rehoboam’s reign and his son Abijah. Today’s chapters talk about the reign of Asa, one of Judah’s best kings. Asa begins his reign by getting rid of objects of worship that would turn people away from God. Then in chapter 15, he gets rid of some idols as well. Either Asa fails to get rid of all the false objects of worship the first time around or the people re-build some of them during the 30 years between chapter 14 and 15.
The need to regularly purge the things that distract us from God is still present today. We are never completely rid of all of it, and some of it has a tendency to creep back into our lives. Asa needed Azariah to remind him to stay close to God and so do we. Reading the Bible or going to church to hear teachings from the Bible are great ways to remind ourselves of things that get between us and God.
2 Chronicles 14 (NASB)
Asa Succeeds Abijah in Judah
So Abijah slept with his fathers, and they buried him in the city of David, and his son Asa became king in his place. The land was undisturbed for ten years during his days.
2 Asa did good and right in the sight of the Lord his God, 3 for he removed the foreign altars and high places, tore down the sacred pillars, cut down the Asherim, 4 and commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers and to observe the law and the commandment. 5 He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah. And the kingdom was undisturbed under him. 6 He built fortified cities in Judah, since the land was undisturbed, and there was no one at war with him during those years, because the Lord had given him rest. 7 For he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and surround themwith walls and towers, gates and bars. The land is still ours because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. 8 Now Asa had an army of 300,000 from Judah, bearing large shields and spears, and 280,000 from Benjamin, bearing shields and wielding bows; all of them were valiant warriors.
9 Now Zerah the Ethiopian came out against them with an army of a million men and 300 chariots, and he came to Mareshah. 10 So Asa went out to meet him, and they drew up in battle formation in the valley of Zephathah at Mareshah.11 Then Asa called to the Lord his God and said, “Lord, there is no one besides You to help in the battle between the powerful and those who have no strength; so help us, O Lord our God, for we trust in You, and in Your name have come against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against You.” 12 So the Lord routed the Ethiopians before Asa and before Judah, and the Ethiopians fled.13 Asa and the people who were with him pursued them as far as Gerar; and so many Ethiopians fell that they could not recover, for they were shattered before the Lord and before His army. And they carried away very much plunder. 14 They destroyed all the cities around Gerar, for the dread of the Lord had fallen on them; and they despoiled all the cities, for there was much plunder in them. 15 They also struck down those who owned livestock, and they carried away large numbers of sheep and camels. Then they returned to Jerusalem.
2 Chronicles 15 (NASB)
The Prophet Azariah Warns Asa
Now the Spirit of God came on Azariah the son of Oded, 2 and he went out to meet Asa and said to him, “Listen to me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin: the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you. 3 For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the Lord God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him. 5 In those times there was no peace to him who went out or to him who came in, for many disturbances afflicted all the inhabitants of the lands.6 Nation was crushed by nation, and city by city, for God troubled them with every kind of distress. 7 But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work.”
8 Now when Asa heard these words and the prophecy which Azariah the son of Oded the prophet spoke, he took courage and removed the abominable idols from all the land of Judah and Benjamin and from the cities which he had captured in the hill country of Ephraim. He then restored the altar of the Lord which was in front of the porch of the Lord. 9 He gathered all Judah and Benjamin and those from Ephraim, Manasseh and Simeon who resided with them, for many defected to him from Israel when they saw that the Lord his God was with him. 10 So they assembled at Jerusalem in 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 they had brought. 12 They entered into the covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers with all their heart and soul; 13 and whoever would not seek the Lord God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, man or woman.14 Moreover, they made an oath to the Lord with a loud voice, with shouting, with trumpets and with horns. 15 All Judah rejoiced concerning the oath, for they had sworn with their whole heart and had sought Him earnestly, and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.
16 He also removed Maacah, the mother of King Asa, from the position of queen mother, because she had made a horrid image as an Asherah, and Asa cut down her horrid image, crushed it and burned it at the brook Kidron. 17 But the high places were not removed from Israel; nevertheless Asa’s heart was blameless all his days. 18 He brought into the house of God the dedicated things of his father and his own dedicated things: silver and gold and utensils. 19 And there was no more war until the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.