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Welcome to the book of Jeremiah.
The prophet Jeremiah ministered in the context of 3 major kings:
- Under King Josiah (640 – 609 BC) he was free to preach and join in Josiah’s reform movement.
- Under King Jehoiakim (609 – 598 BC) he fell out of royal favor and experienced frequent imprisonment.
- Under King Zedekiah (597 – 586 BC) Jeremiah was treated more kindly but still had to fear for his life.
As we consider the life and writings of Jeremiah (this book and the book of Lamentations), we will cover other notable events and people in Israel/Judah’s history including . . .
- the fall of Assyria
- the emergence of Babylon as a regional power
- King Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylon captivity of the Jewish people
- Jeremiah’s fellow (contemporary) prophets including Habakkuk, Daniel and Ezekiel
1. Where were you born? At home? Hospital? In a taxi? What stories about the event have you been told?
2. What relative made you feel wanted and safe as a child?
3. What was Jeremiah’s occupation (verse 1)? What can you deduce about his family and heritage?
4. When did Josiah rule? When did Hedekiah? How long was Jeremiah prophetic career? Through the reigns of which five kings?
5. What kind of king was Josiah (see 2 Kings 22:1, 2)? What did he do to renew the worship of the Lord (see 2 Kings 23:1 – 5, 20, 21, 24)?
6. How do you think the “word of the Lord” came to Jeremiah?
- voice from the clouds?
- human-sounding voice?
- an inner voice?
7. How far back does God’s relationship with Jeremiah go (verse 5)? How involved was God in preparing Jeremiah?
8. How does God’s call make Jeremiah feel (verse 6)? How old is Jeremiah? What does God say to Jeremiah to confirm his call (verses 7 and 8)? What does He do to him (verses 9 and 10)?
9. What two object lessons does God give him (verses 11 – 15)? Upon what pun does the first depend? What does the second mean? Why is God going to punish His people (verse 16)?
10. What opposition will Jeremiah face in his ministry? What does he need to do to overcome it? What things does God promise to do for him?
11. Do you trust that God has a wonderful plan for your life? Or do you feel somewhat like Jeremiah – dubious and fearful?
12. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Which future plans did your parents encourage? Discourage?
13. How does the Lord communicate with you? Are His plans for you always clear? Sometimes clear? Never clear? What role does Scripture play? What about advice, hunches, prayer and circumstances