Israel Returns to God 14 1Israel, return to the Lord your God, because your sins have made you fall. 2Come back to the Lord and say these words to him: “Take away all our sin and kindly receive us, and we will keep the promises we made to you. 3Assyria cannot save us, nor will we trust in our horses. We will not say again, ‘Our gods,’ to the things our hands have made. You show mercy to orphans.”   4The Lord says, “I will forgive them for leaving me and will love them freely, because I am not angry with them anymore. 5I will be like the dew to Israel, and they will blossom like a lily. Like the cedar trees in Lebanon, their roots will be firm. 6They will be like spreading branches, like the beautiful olive trees and the sweet-smelling cedars in Lebanon. 7The people of Israel will again live under my protection. They will grow like the grain, they will bloom like a vine, and they will be as famous as the wine of Lebanon. 8Israel, have nothing to do with idols. I, the Lord, am the one who answers your prayers and watches over you. I am like a green pine tree; your blessings come from me.”   9A wise person will know these things, and an understanding person will take them to heart. The Lord’s ways are right. Good people live by following them, but those who turn against God die because of them.
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