A plea: Return to God
1#14:2 in Heb Return, Israel, to the Lord your God;
you have stumbled because of your wickedness.
2Prepare to speak
and return to the Lord;
say to the Lord,
"Forgive all wickedness;
and receive the good.
Instead of bulls,
let us offer what we can say:
3Assyria won’t save us;
we won’t ride upon horses;
we will no longer say, ‘Our God,’
to the work of our hands.
In you the orphan finds compassion."
Divine promise of healing
4I will heal their faithlessness;
I will love them freely,
for my anger has turned from them.
5I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like the lily;
he will cast out his roots like the forests of Lebanon.#Or like Lebanon
6His branches will spread out;
his beauty will be like the olive tree,
and his fragrance like that of Lebanon.
7They will again live beneath my shadow,
they will flourish like a garden;
they will blossom like the vine,
their fragrance will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8Ephraim, what do idols have to do with me?
It is I who answer and look after you.
I am like a green cypress tree;
your fruit comes from me.
9Whoever is wise understands these things.
Whoever observes carefully knows them.
Truly, the Lord’s ways are right,
and the righteous will walk in them,
but evildoers will stumble in them.