O Israel, come back! Return to your God! You're down but you're not out.
Prepare your confession and come back to God. Pray to him, "Take away our sin, accept our confession. Receive as restitution our repentant prayers.
Assyria won't save us; horses won't get us where we want to go. We'll never again say 'our god' to something we've made or made up. You're our last hope. Is it not true that in you the orphan finds mercy?"
"I will heal their waywardness. I will love them lavishly. My anger is played out.
I will make a fresh start with Israel. He'll burst into bloom like a crocus in the spring. He'll put down deep oak tree roots,
he'll become a forest of oaks! He'll become splendid - like a giant sequoia, his fragrance like a grove of cedars!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)