Asa’s religious reforms.
Note: Many people find it morally objectionable that a religion requires the killing of innocent animals.
Azariah the son of Oded. He will act as a prophet to the nation.
VERSE 2. He went out to meet Asa, and said to him, “Hear me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin! The LORD is with you while you are with him; and if you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will forsake you.
if you seek him, he will be found by you. Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 3. Now for a long time Israel was without the true God, without a teaching priest, and without law.
without a teaching priest. In order for people to live the faith, they need someone to teach them.
Back in those days, the teacher was a Jewish priest.
In our day, it is you and me. We are to teach people the ways of Christian discipleship.
VERSE 4. But when in their distress they turned to the LORD, the God of Israel, and sought him, he was found by them.
they … sought him. Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 5. In those times there was no peace to him who went out, nor to him who came in; but great troubles were on all the inhabitants of the lands.
VERSE 6. They were broken in pieces, nation against nation, and city against city; for God troubled them with all adversity.
be strong! Don’t let your hands be slack. Let’s be strong and not relax our Bible Reading project. For in Jesus Christ, our work shall be rewarded!
VERSE 8. When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominations out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from the hill country of Ephraim; and he renewed the LORD’s altar that was before the LORD’s porch.
Asa heard. He listened.
put away the abominations. King Asa acted upon the message. He eradicated idolatry.
he renewed the LORD’s altar. King Asa acted upon the message. He rebuilt the altar of the Most High God.
VERSE 9. He gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and those who lived with them out of Ephraim, Manasseh, and Simeon; for they came to him out of Israel in abundance when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
VERSE 10. So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of Asa’s reign.
VERSE 11. They sacrificed to the LORD in that day, of the plunder which they had brought, seven hundred head of cattle and seven thousand sheep.
VERSE 12. They entered into the covenant to seek the LORD, the God of their fathers, with all their heart and with all their soul;
VERSE 13. and that whoever would not seek the LORD, the God of Israel, should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
should be put to death. Either you seek the LORD God. Or you will be executed.
This is a problem. It is a big problem.
People must have the freedom to live their lives as they determine. That is a human right.
Also, any religious actions people practice under the threat of assassination are not sincere. People cannot be sincere when they might be murdered.
Recall the Inquisitors. They kidnapped people and tortured them to death. Why? Because the Inquisitor found fault with their faith.
It caused people to conform. They performed the “correct” external actions. But forcing external conformity, under threat of death, is no way to inspire faith.
And it is a violation of human rights.
shofars. Or “trumpets.”
VERSE 15. All Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought him with their whole desire; and he was found by them. Then the LORD gave them rest all around.
Seeking the kingdom of God is to be our number one priority. Yet for many of us, our use of time and money show that it is a low priority. Read more »
VERSE 16. Also Maacah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed from being queen mother, because she had made an abominable image for an Asherah; so Asa cut down her image, ground it into dust, and burned it at the brook Kidron.
VERSE 17. But the high places were not taken away out of Israel; nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
VERSE 18. He brought the things that his father had dedicated and that he himself had dedicated, silver, gold, and vessels into God’s house.
VERSE 19. There was no more war to the thirty-fifth year of Asa’s reign.
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.