Wesley's Notes on the Bible
And the Spirit of God came upon Azariah the son of Oded:
15:1 Spirit of God - Both to instruct him what to say, and to enable him to say it plainly and boldly.
And he went out to meet Asa, and said unto him, Hear ye me, Asa, and all Judah and Benjamin; The LORD is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you.
Now for a long season Israel hath been without the true God, and without a teaching priest, and without law.
15:3 Now Israel - They have long lived without the found knowledge and worship of the true God. Israel is here understood of the whole nation of Israel in former times, and especially in the times of the judges: for then many times they were in a great measure, without God and his law, and teaching priests, as plainly appears from the book of the Judges; they were brought to all the exigencies and calamities following; and they sometimes turned to the Lord, and he was found of them.
But when they in their trouble did turn unto the LORD God of Israel, and sought him, he was found of them.
And in those times there was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in, but great vexations were upon all the inhabitants of the countries.
15:5 In those times - When Israel lived in the gross neglect of God and his law. No peace - Men could not go abroad about their private occasions without great danger; as it was in the days of Shamgar, Judg 5:6.
And nation was destroyed of nation, and city of city: for God did vex them with all adversity.
15:6 And nation, and c. - One part of the people of Israel destroyed the other by civil wars. As all Israel are called a nation, so the several tribes of them are sometimes called nations.
Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.
15:7 Be strong - Go on resolutely to maintain God's worship and to root out idolatry, as you have begun to do; for this is the only method of preserving yourselves from such calamities as your predecessors have felt.
And when Asa heard these words, and the prophecy of Oded the prophet, he took courage, and put away the abominable idols out of all the land of Judah and Benjamin, and out of the cities which he had taken from mount Ephraim, and renewed the altar of the LORD, that was before the porch of the LORD.
15:8 Of Oded - Of Azariah, ver.1, who was also called by his father's name Oded.
And he gathered all Judah and Benjamin, and the strangers with them out of Ephraim and Manasseh, and out of Simeon: for they fell to him out of Israel in abundance, when they saw that the LORD his God was with him.
So they gathered themselves together at Jerusalem in the third month, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Asa.
And they offered unto the LORD the same time, of the spoil which they had brought, seven hundred oxen and seven thousand sheep.
And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul;
15:12 Into covenant - The matter of this covenant was nothing but what they were before obliged to. And tho' no promise could lay any higher obligation upon them, than they were already under, yet it would help to increase their sense of the obligation, and to arm them against temptations. And by joining all together in this, they strengthened the hands of each other
That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.
And they sware unto the LORD with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets.
And 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 of them: and the LORD gave them rest round about.
15:15 Rejoiced at the oath - The times of renewing our covenant with God, should be times of rejoicing. It is an honour and happiness to be in bonds with God. And the closer, the better.
And also concerning Maachah the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove: and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron.
But the high places were not taken away out of Israel: nevertheless the heart of Asa was perfect all his days.
And he brought into the house of God the things that his father had dedicated, and that he himself had dedicated, silver, and gold, and vessels.
And there was no more war unto the five and thirtieth year of the reign of Asa.