Prophetic Call to Genuine Repentance
1 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God,
for your sin has been your downfall!
2 Return to the Lord and repent!
Say to him: “Completely forgive our iniquity;
accept our penitential prayer,
that we may offer the praise of our lips as sacrificial bulls.
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not ride warhorses.
We will never again say, ‘Our gods’
to what our own hands have made.
For only you will show compassion to Orphan Israel!”
Divine Promise to Relent from Judgment and to Restore Blessings
4 “I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger will turn away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily,
he will send down his roots like a cedar of Lebanon.
6 His young shoots will grow;
his splendour will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will reside again in his shade;
they will plant and harvest grain in abundance.
They will blossom like a vine,
and his fame will be like the wine from Lebanon.
8 O Ephraim, I do not want to have anything to do with idols any more!
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a luxuriant cypress tree;
your fruitfulness comes from me!
9 Who is wise?
Let him discern these things!
Who is discerning?
Let him understand them!
For the ways of the Lord are right;
the godly walk in them,
but in them the rebellious stumble.