The Lord Offers to Forgive Israel
1 Israel, return to the Lord your God.
You have stumbled because of your sins.
2 Return to the Lord, and say these things to him:
“Forgive all our sins, and kindly receive us.
Then we’ll praise you with our lips.
3 Assyria cannot save us.
We won’t ride on horses anymore.
We will never again say
that the things our hands have made are our gods.
You love orphans.”
4 ⌊The Lord says,⌋ “I will cure them of their unfaithfulness.
I will love them freely.
I will no longer be angry with them.
5 I will be like dew to the people of Israel.
They will blossom like flowers.
They will be firmly rooted like cedars from Lebanon.
6 They will be like growing branches.
They will be beautiful like olive trees.
They will be fragrant like cedars from Lebanon.
7 They will live again in God’s shadow.
They will grow like grain.
They will blossom like grapevines.
They will be as famous as the wines from Lebanon.
8 “The people of Ephraim will have nothing more to do with idols.
I will answer them and take care of them.
I am like a growing pine tree.
Their fruit comes from me.”
9 Wise people will understand these things.
A person with insight will recognize them.
The Lord’s ways are right.
Righteous people live by them.
Rebellious people stumble over them.