The Rewards of
Coming Back to the Lord
1 “Come, let’s go back to the LORD.
He hurt us, but he will heal us.
He wounded us, but he will put bandages on us.
2 After two days he will bring us back to life.
He will raise us up on the third day.
Then we can live near him.
3 Let’s learn about the LORD.
Let’s try very hard to know him.
We know he is coming,
just as we know the dawn is coming.
He will come to us like the rain,
like the spring rain that waters the ground.”
The People Are Not Faithful
4 “Ephraim, what should I do with you?
Judah, what should I do with you?
Your faithfulness is like a morning mist.
Your faithfulness is like the dew that goes away early in the morning.
5 I used the prophets
and made laws for the people.
The people were killed at my command,
but good things will come from those decisions.*
6 This is because I want faithful love,
I want people to know God,
not to bring burnt offerings.
But the people broke the agreement as Adam did.†
They were unfaithful to me in their country.
8 Gilead is a city of people who do evil—
people who have tricked and killed others.
9 The priests are like gangs of robbers
hiding and waiting on the road to attack someone.
They murder people before they reach safety in Shechem.
They do such evil things.
I have seen a terrible thing in the nation‡
Ephraim was unfaithful to God.
Israel is dirty with sin.
11 Judah, there is also a time of harvest for you.
It will happen when I bring my people back from captivity.§