Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. Sometimes we must learn the hard way, by ourselves. Sometimes we learn from an older sibling. What lesson do you remember learning “the hard way” for which you wish you had had an older brother or sister to learn from?
2. If you have a younger sibling, what lesson did you spare him or her from having to learn “the hard way”?
3. To what does God compare the northern kingdom of Israel and the southern kingdom of Judah (chapter 3:6, 7)? The people of the north were attacked and deported by the Assyrians about 721 B. C., 100 years before Jeremiah. Why did God allow that to happen (chapter 3:8 – 10)?
4. What did God hope the people of Judah would do when they saw what happened to Israel? What did Judah do?
5. Why was Israel “more righteous” (chapter 3:11)? What is Jeremiah’s message to the north (chapter 3:12 -14)? What does the “one. . .two” represent?
6. How does Jeremiah envision the future for all Israel (chapter 3:16 – 18)? Why will the ark of the covenant be irrelevant “in those days”?
7. In what sense has Israel become like a disenfranchised firstborn son (chapter 3:19)? Like an unfaithful women (chapter 3:20)?
8. Under what conditions would God find Israel acceptable again (chapter 3:22 – 25)?
9. The northern tribes were never regathered, become the “lost 10 tribes of Israel”. What could we guess about their answer to God’s call (chapter 4:1, 2)?
10. What should Judah do now (chapter 4:3, 4; see also Hosea 10:12 and Matthew 4:7, 22)? What is a “circumcised heart” (see Deuteronomy 30:6)
11. Consider silently how you would feel and react if a sweetheart or spouse was unfaithful to you. As a group, what does it tell you about God’s love that He wants to take Israel back?
12. Do you have trouble forgiving yourself for something you’ve done? Does it help knowing that God forgives you? Is something more needed?
13. Did you feel like the preferred child in your family. or was another sibling preferred? How did that make you feel about your parents? Yourself? The preferred sibling?
14. Is it easy for you to feel responsible when things go wrong? Or do you feel most problems in your life are caused by other people? When is the last time you admitted you were wrong? How did it go over?