A Message About the Philistines Before Egypt Attacked Gaza (Jeremiah 47)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 47

1. If you could have traded fathers when you were a child, whose dad would you have taken? Why?

2. What war interests you the most? Why is war intriguing?

3. What do your five senses tell you is happening in this prophecy?

4. How were relations between Judah and Philistia in the past (see Judges 13:1; 1 Samuel 18:25 – 27)?

5. Why has God ordered the sword against the Philistines (verses 6 and 7; see Ezekiel 25:15 – 17)? Note: Ashkelon was attacked by Nebuchadnezzar in 604 BC, in partial fulfillment of this prophecy.

6. What determines who wins battles: superior equipment? stronger forces? better strategies? or something else?

7. What would you call an “overflowing torrent” (verse 2) on today’s scene? What can be done about it?

8. Do you know anyone who has fought in a war or lived in a war zone? What do wars accomplish? Are they acts of God’s wrath, or the results of humanity’s folly? Explain your answer.

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Warning! Babylon Will Subdue Egypt (Jeremiah 46)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 46

1. What image comes to mind at the word “Egypt”? Do you have any desire to visit there?

2. How do you relate to a horse? Like to horse around? Could eat a horse? Are you a work horse?

3. How long does it take you to get ready for a night out? What takes the most time? What does this say about you?

4. Why does Neco march against Nebuchadnezzar (verse 8; see also Jeremiah 37:5 – 7)? Who would the people of Judah want to win and why?

5. Why does Jeremiah prophesy defeat for Egypt? What is Egypt’s problem (verses 15 and 25)? Why does God favor the pagan Babylonians (see Ezekiel 29:19 and 20)?

6. Apart from the immediate participants, who comes out the winner in this prophecy (compare Isaiah 19:23 – 25)? Who stands to lose the most?

7. Thirty years later Nebuchadnezzar carries the war back into Egypt (verses 13 – 17; 19 – 21)? Why do so many soldiers desert?

8. Will Egypt be different after the dust settles (verse 26)?

9. What does disciplined “only with justice” mean (verse 28)? What other types of discipline are there?

10. Do you think God is as involved in world affairs today? Is God only involved with Christian nations? Do you think Nebuchadnezzar attacked Egypt out of conscious obedience to the Lord? Why or why not?

11. How visible is God’s power and plan (apart from the eyes of faith)? Where do you see God’s activity in your world, or don’t you?

12. Are you troubled by the direction of the world or concerned about humanity’s future? What’s your role in our fate? What is God’s role? The church’s role? The governments of the world’s role?

13. Have you lived through a trying time, learned lots of lessons and then gone to ways “as in times past” when the dust settled? How can you make a lesson once learned stick for all time?

14. Do you stumble repeatedly over the same problem? Why is it hard to get up and walk straight? Is God the one “pushing you down” (verse 15)? Take note of James 1:12 – 15 for the difference between a trial and a temptation.

15. Have you ever missed your opportunity (verse 17) when its time finally came? Why did you hesitate to follow through? Was it something you really didn’t want, or something you thought you might not deserve?

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Jeremiah Is Arrested and Threatened With Death (Jeremiah 26)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 26

1. What is the closest brush with death you ever had? How did it make you feel?

2. Are you at ease speaking in front of groups? How about large or hostile audiences? Give an example of when you were able to win friends and influence people initially opposed to your viewpoint.

3. Verses 2 – 6 and 12 – 15 correlate closely with the temple message of chapter 7. What new details, provided here, expand on that previous chapter in Jeremiah’s life? (For example, whose “innocent blood” is it in chapter 7:6 and 26:15?)

4. Why do the other priest and prophets want Jeremiah sentenced to death (verses 7 – 11)?

5. In defending his case, how does Jeremiah distinguish himself from the other prophets who would justly deserve death (verse 12; see chapter 23:21; Deuteronomy 13:5)?

6. Who takes Jeremiah’s side and why (verses 16 – 19, 24)? We studies the prophecies of Micah (of Moresheth) in March/April of 2015. What impact did he have on King Hezekiah (see Micah 1:1; Micah 3:12; 2 Kings 28:1 – 6)? What parallel does that suggest? Who is this Shaphan and family (2 Kings 22:8 – 13)?

7. How does the argument of these Jewish elders compare with that of Gamaliel in a similar situation (see Acts 5:33 – 40)? What principle of interpreting Scripture and signs of the times is at work here?

8. Why do you think the rulers killed Uriah but not Jeremiah (verses 20 – 24)?

9. Why does God seem so indifferent to the earthly fate of His servants (see Hebrews 11:32 – 38)? Does God oppose torture, death and unjust imprisonment? Should we?

10. Why do you think Jeremiah is so calm facing death? Does the fear of the Lord make you immune to the fear of man? Should it?

11. What do you fear the most? How can you overcome or manage your fear?

12. Are you at ease taking sides in a debate before all the votes are counted? Or do you usually hedge your bets by waiting to see how things will pan out? Give an example.

13. When was the last time you stuck up for someone unpopular? Why did you do it? How were you treated?

14. How might the principle of interpretation evident in Jeremiah 26:16 – 19 (and Acts 5:34 – 40) be used today in deciding who speaks for God?

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