Great stuff, although we have read these stories earlier. The story of Asa and Jehosaphat, two good kings who ruled in Judah.
Asa is reminded in Chapter 15 that "the Lord is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you." This is always true. God promises to be available to all who seek him (knock, seek and find in the New Testament). When we walk away from God it will seem that he has abandoned us, but in reality, we have moved away from God and walk in the darkness of our own creation. Later in Asa's rule when he trusts in the power of Ben-Hadad and the Syrian forces rather than trusting in Jehovah, he endures hard times. When Asa fully depended upon God as Jehovah's protector, he crushed the threatening armies of Cush. Peace reigned for 35 years. When he trusted in a human alliance with a foreign King, Ben-Hadad, he was successful in a human sense but was told by a prophet that Syria was the greater enemy than Israel. Some years later, the truth of the Prophet becomes obvious when Syria becomes both Israel's & Judah's nemesis.
By and large Asa was a Godly man and sought to obey God's edicts. He tore down the Asherah's and destroyed the Baals. This was an act of courage on the part of Asa. Imagine how difficult it would be in America to outlaw gambling, to destroy the riverboats and casinos. That would be pretty tough because sin has become entrenched in our society. We have become accustomed to having the sin taxes to pay for our schools and other government purposes. These establishments provide jobs to many. So were the Baal temples. Priests served them. Craftsman sold idols. It was a religious industry. There was opposition to there destruction. Doing God's will is not always humanly popular, but it is still God's will. Being Christian and speaking against sin in our culture will cause some heartburn, but it will also lay up treasure in heaven.
I particularly like the verse found in 16:9 "The eyes of the Lord are continually searching the earth seeking those whose hearts are fully committed to him that he might strengthen and encourage them." That should be an ecncouragement to walk faithfully, to seek God in all our going out and coming in.
Asa's Son,Jehosaphat, continued and improved his father's reforms and was blessed by God for his obedience. He returned to a practice that God had intended when Israel first became a nation by distributing the Levites and Priests throughout Judah with a mission to teach God's word and be and illustration to the people of God's will and way. This was a great encouragement to the people to live faithfully and God blessed Israel while Jehosaphat was their king.