Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. If you were warned that a nuclear strike would hit your area in 25 minutes, where would you go for safety? What would you take with you? What would you spend your time doing?
2. What skill do you keep telling yourself you’ll learn when you get a little extra time? Do you think you will ever acquire it?
3. What was your birthing experience like for your mother? When have you witnessed a woman giving birth? Was it what you expected?
4. From where comes the disaster about to befall Judah (verses 5 and 6; see also Jeremiah 6:1)? Who will be affected by the invasion (verses 7 – 9)?
5. When did God “deceive” the people (verse 10; see also Jeremiah 14:13, 14)? What do the people think will happen to them?
6. What five word-pictures does Jeremiah use to describe the Babylonians (verses 11 – 17)? Why has God brought them to attack His people (verse 18)? Can Jerusalem be saved (verse 14)? How so (see chapter 3:23; chapter 4:1, 2)?
7. How does Jeremiah feel when he learns his nation will be destroyed (verses 18 – 21)? What does his pain reveal about him?
8. What excuse, if any do the people have (verse 22)? Did they not know any better, or did they know only too well what they were doing? If they were ignorant, would you say it is right to punish people for that?
9. What vision does Jeremiah now have of life after the Babylonian invasion (verses 23 – 26)? To what does Jeremiah compare the aftermath?
10. Verses 29 – 31 depict three different responses to the invasion. What are they? What do the images represent?
11. The false prophets told the people of Judah that they need not change because God would never punish them (chapter 3:10)? What was in it for them and their listeners? Who tends to profit from such “prophets”?
12. Do you know of any situation where trouble is coming unless people change? What, if anything, can you do to help them?
13. How do you feel when you hear that a wicked person has suffered? How does your response compare to Jeremiah’s? If your feelings are different, why do you feel that way? How should you feel?
14. Do you ever see people reacting to God’s judgment in one of the ways described in chapter 4:29 – 31? How should they respond instead?
15. Have your experienced God as Judge or Avenger? How did the experience affect you? How do you square the pictures of God the loving parent with God the avenging judge?
16. Think of a place that has been devastated recently by war or disaster. Do you ever experience something like Jeremiah’s concern and agony when you learn of people’s suffering? Why or why not?