1Israel, you fell and sinned against God. So come back to the Lord your God. 2Think about the things you will say. And come back to the Lord. Say to him, “Take away our sin. Accept our good ˻words˼. We offer you the praise from our lips. 3“Assyria will not save us. We will not ride on ˻war˼ horses. We will never again say, 'Our God’ to something we made with our hands. Why? Because you are the One who shows mercy to orphans.” 4The Lord says, “I will forgive them for leaving me. I will love them freely, because I have stopped being angry. 5I will be like the dew to Israel. Israel will blossom like the lily. He will grow like the cedar trees of Lebanon. 6His branches will grow, and he will be like a beautiful olive tree. He will be like the sweet smell from the cedar trees of Lebanon. 7The people of Israel will again live under my protection. They will grow like grain. They will bloom like a vine. They will be like the wine of Lebanon.” 8“Ephraim, I will have nothing more to do with idols. I am the One who answers your prayers. I am the One who watches over you. I am like a fir tree that is always green. Your fruit comes from me.” 9A wise person understands these things. A smart person should learn these things. The Lord’s ways are right. Good people will live by them. Sinners will die by them.