Israel Forsakes God (Jeremiah 2:1 – 19)

jeremiah

Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 2:1 – 19

1. For the never-married: Describe the perfect honeymoon. When, where and with whom?

2. For the married: Where did you go for your honeymoon? How were the travel arrangements? Lodging? Weather? What snapshot helps you best remember this time?

3. Is it hard to maintain “friendship” with past loves? Why or why not?

Chapters 2 – 6 of Jeremiah’s prophecy are considered to be among his earliest (about 626 BC) and were delivered midway during the reign of Josiah, who was the most favorable of all kings to Jeremiah’s radical message.  These chapters deal with the near total apostasy of Judah and the inevitable foreign invasion which serves as God’s retribution.

4. God pictures Israel as a bride. How did the marriage start out (verses 2 and 3)? To what “desert” does He refer (verses 2, 6 and 7)?

5. What went wrong (verse 5)? What did the powerful do that was so contrary to God’s intent (verses 6 – 8)? Where was the Lord all this time?

6. What effect does Israel’s behavior have on the natural world (verses 7, 10 – 12)? Do you think these descriptions are literal or metaphorical? Why?

7. What charges does God bring? What is so impossible about changing gods or lovers (verse 11)?

8. “Baal” is Hebrew for “master” or “lord”. Who is Baal (see Judges 2:11 – 13)? In what way is Baal-worship or idolatry really two sins in one (verse 13)?

9. What role do “lions” (symbolic of Assyria) and the Egyptians (verse 16; chapter 44:1) play in humiliating and destroying Israel? What role does Israel play in this (verses 17 – 19)? What role doe God play in sealing Israel’s fate (see chapter 2:36, 37)?

10. What emotions do you think God is trying to convey through these vivid pictures? How does God feel? Hurt? Betrayed? Outraged? Jealous? Jilted? Or what?

11. What was wrong with worshiping a few other gods as long as the Lord was included? Or making major military alliances with the major powers of the day? Why do you think God takes these things so personally?

12. As reflected in this passage, is sin breaking rules or hurting a person? Which way of thinking about it better motivates you to avoid it? Why?

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