Scripture Text:(Click the Scripture text to open the text in a new window.)
1. In your lifetime what famous person, who seemed to have it all, ended up in sorrow and tragedy? What did you learn from that situation?
2. What does the picture of a queen reduced to slavery tell you about Babylon’s past and future? Since Babylon was not destroyed (though literally conquered by Cyrus in a single day), what is the meaning of this image? What is the reason for this judgment (see also chapter 10:12)? What does this say about God?
3. What do you learn about the spiritual beliefs and practices of Babylon (verses 9b – 15)? What do you imagine they were doing as Cyrus came closer and closer?
4. What will they inherit for all their activity? How does this highlight the truth proclaimed since chapter 40, that there is no other god but the Lord? Of what value would this truth be for the exiles?
5. In our sophisticated and cynical age, why do you think most major newspapers faithfully print astrological information day after day? Have you ever been drawn to astrology or other occult practices? Why? Do you think it is appropriate for Christians to be involved in these things? Why or why not?
6. During the 1950s and 1960s, many predicted that the rise of science would lead to a decline in people’s interest in the supernatural? Yet the sales and use of occult books and devices have risen dramatically since then? How do you account for this trend? What does this trend show about people? What would it take to have an effective witness to someone involved in these practices?
7. The Babylonians ignored God, justice and mercy by hiding behind pride, wealth and magic. How do people today try hiding from God? What helped you to see that these things are not to be trusted? Might they still tempt you? How so?