Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say to him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously…
The blessing of Ephraim was fruitfulness. And throughout this prophecy the judgments of God against Ephraim are expressed by needs, emptiness, barrenness, dryness of roots, of fruits, of branches, of springs, etc.
I. AN INVITATION TO REPENTANCE. The matter of it is conversion; which must be to the Lord, and spiritual. It must be a full, thorough, constant, continued conversion, with a whole, fixed, rooted, united, and established heart. The motives to this duty are, God's mercies and God's judgments.
II. THE INSTITUTION: HOW TO PERFORM IT.
1. A general instruction. "Take unto you words," which importeth the serious pondering and choosing of requests to put up to God. He expects there should be preparation in our accesses to Him. Preparation of our persons; by purity of life. Preparation of our services; by choice of matter. Preparation of our hearts; by finding them out, and stirring them up. We must attend unto His will, as the rule of our prayers. Unto His precepts and promises, as the matter of our prayers. Unto the guidance of His Holy Spirit, as the life and principle of our prayers. There is a kind of omnipotency in prayer, as having an interest and prevalence with God's omnipotency.
2. A particular form. A prayer for two benefits: the removal of sin, the conferring of good. A promise of two things. Thanksgiving, and a special care for the amendment of their lives. Observe especially the ground of their confidence so to pray, and of their resolutions so to promise. "Because in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy.
Parallel VersesKJV: Take with you words, and turn to the LORD: say unto him, Take away all iniquity, and receive us graciously: so will we render the calves of our lips.