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Jeremiah sends a letter to the exiles...

Explain the situation:  half the nation dragged off into exile in Babylon...
Jerusalem remains with a puppet king... Jeremiah writes to those in exile...

What would you write in those circumstances?  Some people in exile were
already prophesying a speedy return to Jerusalem.  It was what people wanted
to hear!

Which of these letters is the one that Jeremiah sent?

Letter 1...

To: Peopleof
From: Jeremiah@Jerusalem.nice&

Dear deported ones,

Life here in Jerusalem isn't brilliant, but I guess it's better than being deported.
You really should have listened to what I said, shouldn't you?  I told you it was
coming, I told you not to go and make silly alliances with all and sundry against
Babylon, I told you to reform your ways, to come back to a true and godly way
of life, I told you not to listen to those Good News prophets - always telling you
what you wanted to hear.  I told you so!!

Well, you've made your bed, now lie in it.  I think I shall retire from being a
prophet and go and buy a timeshare somewhere in Egypt.

Bye for now,   Lots of love,   Jeremiah.

Letter 2...

To: Peopleof

Dear friends,

I have good news!  I just know this is all going to work out really well soon!
I am sure you will all soon be back here with us.  I'm sure there's nothing to
worry about.  When you get back we'll all have a big party, the first round is
on me!

As you'll be back soon, keep yourselves to yourselves.  Don't co-operate with
the Babylonians, make their lives as tough as possible.  Guerilla warfare, Civil
disobedience, that's the way to go.

Anyway, must dash, see you very soon, I'll have the kettle on...

Lots of love,  Jeremiah

Letter 3...

To: Peopleof
From: Jeremiah@Jerusalem.Gods.words.4.U

These are God's words: "This is what I have to say to all those I sent as
exiles to Babylon:

Make Babylon your home- build houses, grow food in your gardens,
marry and rear families;   you will not die out, you will become a great
community.Work for the good of the country I have made the place of
your exile. When you pray to me, remember Babylon in your prayers-
you and she stand or fall together.

This is what I have to say to you: Remember my plans for you,
plans of peace, not plans of disaster, a future to hope for.   Pray to me
and I will listen; seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your hearts,
you shall find me.

Lots of love,  Jeremiah

(Make the obvious points: Jeremiah does not simply preach what they want to
hear.  God asks them to pray for their captives and to interact with them - to be
good citizens and to be a witness to him through their conduct...they are in for
a long stay!  God still has great plans for them, despite appearances, they must
earnestly seek God - they will find Him, even in Babylon!)