A Plea for Repentance
1Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.2Take words with you
and return to the Lord;
say to him,
“Take away all guilt;
accept that which is good,
and we will offer
the fruit of our lips.3Assyria shall not save us;
we will not ride upon horses;
we will say no more, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds mercy.”
Assurance of Forgiveness
4I will heal their disloyalty;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.5I will be like the dew to Israel;
he shall blossom like the lily,
he shall strike root like the forests of Lebanon.6His shoots shall spread out;
his beauty shall be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.7They shall again live beneath my shadow,
they shall flourish as a garden;
they shall blossom like the vine,
their fragrance shall be like the wine of Lebanon.
8O Ephraim, what have I to do with idols?
It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like an evergreen cypress;
your faithfulness comes from me.9Those who are wise understand these things;
those who are discerning know them.
For the ways of the Lord are right,
and the upright walk in them,
but transgressors stumble in them.