"Come, let us discuss this," says the LORD. "Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are as red as crimson, they will be like wool.
You have not bought Me aromatic cane with silver, or satisfied Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities.
"It is I who sweep away your transgressions for My own sake and remember your sins no more.
You have never heard; you have never known; For a long time your ears have not been open. For I knew that you were very treacherous, and were known as a rebel from birth.
I will delay My anger for the honor of My name, and I will restrain Myself for your benefit and [for] My praise, so that you will not be destroyed.
Look, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
I will act for My own sake, indeed, My own, for how can I be defiled? I will not give My glory to another.
I have heard Ephraim moaning: You disciplined me, and I have been disciplined like an untrained calf. Restore me, and I will return, for you, LORD, are my God.
After I returned, I repented; After I was instructed, I struck my thigh [in grief]. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.
Isn't Ephraim a precious son to Me, a delightful child? Whenever I speak against him, I certainly still think about him. Therefore, My inner being yearns for him; I will truly have compassion on him. [This is] the LORD's declaration.
But I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.
Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant.
I will establish My covenant with you, and you will know that I am the LORD,
so that when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace." [This is] the declaration of the Lord God.
"Therefore, say to the house of Israel: This is what the Lord God says: It is not for your sake that I will act, house of Israel, but for My holy name, which you profaned among the nations where you went.
I will honor the holiness of My great name, which has been profaned among the nations-- the name you have profaned among them. The nations will know that I am Yahweh"-- the declaration of the Lord God-- "when I demonstrate My holiness through you in their sight.
"For I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries, and will bring you into your own land.
I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
I will place My Spirit within you and cause you to follow My statutes and carefully observe My ordinances.
Then you will live in the land that I gave your fathers; you will be My people, and I will be your God.
I will save you from all your uncleanness. I will summon the grain and make it plentiful, and will not bring famine on you.
I will also make the fruit of the trees and the produce of the field plentiful, so that you will no longer experience reproach among the nations on account of famine.
"Then you will remember your evil ways and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and abominations.
It is not for your sake that I will act"-- the declaration of the Lord God-- "let this be known to you. Be ashamed and humiliated because of your ways, house of Israel!
"This is what the Lord God says: On the day I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the ruins will be rebuilt.
The desolate land will be cultivated instead of lying desolate in the sight of everyone who passes by.
Then they will say: This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden. The cities that were once ruined, desolate, and destroyed are [now] fortified and inhabited.
Then the nations that remain around you will know that I, the LORD, have rebuilt what was destroyed and have replanted what was desolate. I, the LORD, have spoken and I will do [it].
"This is what the Lord God says: I will respond to the house of Israel and do this for them: I will multiply them in number like a flock.
So the ruined cities will be filled with a flock of people, just as the flock of sheep for sacrifice is filled in Jerusalem during its appointed festivals. Then they will know that I am the LORD."
So he got up and went to his father. But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran, threw his arms around his neck, and kissed him.
The law came along to multiply the trespass. But where sin multiplied, grace multiplied even more,
Return, you faithless children. I will heal your unfaithfulness. "Here we are, coming to You, for You are the LORD our God.
the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued to extend faithful love to you.
Yet I will certainly bring health and healing to it and will indeed heal them. I will let them experience the abundance of peace and truth.
I will heal their apostasy; I will freely love them, for My anger will have turned from him.
I will be like the dew to Israel; he will blossom like the lily and take root like [the cedars of] Lebanon.
His new branches will spread, and his splendor will be like the olive tree, his fragrance, like [the forest of] Lebanon.
The people will return and live beneath his shade. They will grow grain and blossom like the vine. His renown will be like the wine of Lebanon.
Ephraim, why should I have anything more to do with idols? It is I who answer and watch over him. I am like a flourishing pine tree; your fruit comes from Me.
They will not hunger or thirst, the scorching heat or sun will not strike them; for their compassionate One will guide them, and lead them to springs of water.
He lets me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters.
Because the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; He will guide them to springs of living waters, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.
For the High and Exalted One who lives forever, whose name is Holy says this: "I live in a high and holy place, and with the oppressed and lowly of spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and revive the heart of the oppressed.
On that day you will say: "I will praise You, LORD, although You were angry with me. Your anger has turned away, and You have had compassion on me.
to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor, and the day of our God's vengeance; to comfort all who mourn,
to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the LORD, to glorify Him.
Be glad for Jerusalem and rejoice over her, all who love her. Rejoice greatly with her, all who mourn over her--
so that you may nurse and be satisfied from her comforting breast and drink deeply and delight yourselves from her glorious breasts.
For this is what the LORD says: I will make peace flow to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flood; you will nurse and be carried on [her] hip, and bounced on [her] lap.
As a mother comforts her son, so I will comfort you, and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.
Restore the joy of Your salvation to me, and give me a willing spirit.
But if you will not listen, my innermost being will weep in secret because of your pride. My eyes will overflow with tears, for the LORD's flock has been taken captive.
But there is hope for whoever is joined with all the living, since a live dog is better than a dead lion.