Textbooks Assignment—Vang/Carter: pp. 135-209 Bible Readings—2 Kings 2; 5; 21-23, 25; Jeremiah 39.1-10; Lamentations 1-5 The reign of David represents a relatively stable season for the nation of Israel. Solomon initially follows in his father’s footsteps as a wise and careful leader, but his marriage to foreign wives and resulting idolatry pave the way for the nation’s fall. What follows in the biblical narrative is stunning on a variety of levels. The sins of the Israelites are pervasive, perverted, and devastating. The LORD’s messages sent to the Israelites through the prophets provide a context for the nation’s judgment and captivity as we see the dissolution of the single nation into two (Israel and Judah). However, the return of the exiles to Jerusalem is a hope-filled turn in the story. In preparing your posts for this discussion, consider the assigned Scripture readings, the material in Vang/Carter and Richter, and the videos as well. Consider the messages of the prophets as viewed through the lens of three prominent themes: An honest appraisal of the sinful attitudes and practices that have put them in their current situation; they have not honored the Covenant. A distressing announcement that the LORD would judge them for their sin, and that their situation would only get worse if they do not repent and return to the LORD. A merciful word of hope; the LORD offers grace, forgiveness, and restoration if the people will repent, confess, and honor the Covenant. FIRST, for this discussion: Choose a different prophet from among those highlighted in course materials, one for each of the three prominent themes. – How does the message of that prophet demonstrate that theme? – Is there some unique method used by that prophet to communicate the message? If so, what is that unique method and how does it communicate the message? Again, you will highlight three different prophets, one for each of the themes. SECOND, for this discussion: In your opinion how does the return of the captives, the rebuilding of Jerusalem, and the rebuilding of the Temple represent a restoration of the covenant relationship between the Israelites and the LORD?