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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.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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