Repentance to bring blessing
1[a]Return, Israel, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
2 Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to him:
‘Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.[b]
3 Assyria cannot save us;
we will not mount war-horses.
We will never again say “Our gods”
to what our own hands have made,
for in you the fatherless find compassion.’
4 ‘I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for my anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;
he will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
he will send down his roots;
6 his young shoots will grow.
His splendour will be like an olive tree,
his fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.
7 People will dwell again in his shade;
they will flourish like the corn,
they will blossom like the vine –
Israel’s fame will be like the wine of Lebanon.
8 Ephraim, what more have I[c] to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a flourishing juniper;
your fruitfulness comes from me.’
9 Who is wise? Let them realise these things.
Who is discerning? Let them understand.
The ways of the Lord are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them.