Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. What section of the newspaper do you read first or most attentively? What part of the TV news grip you? Where in your reading or viewing priorities is the report on violent crimes?
2. Why might you be more fascinated with crime? Empathy for victims? Fear it might happen to you? Fantasy wish that you could get away with something similar?
3. Who are your favorite fictional or cartoon villains? Why do you like them? Do you ever find yourself rooting for the bad guy?
4. What is Jeremiah’s quest (verse 1)? How will he know one when he sees one? What will God do if Jeremiah succeeds? How does that compare to God’s response to Abraham’s plea for Sodom (see Genesis 18:16 – 32)?
5. Jeremiah finds a city full of evil. What evil actions does he find (verses 2, 7, 8, 19, 23, 26, 27, 31)? What evil attitudes does he find (verses 3, 5, 11 – 13, 21 – 24)? What sinful omission (verse 28)?
6. Is Jeremiah inclined to excuse the poor and blame the upper class (verses 4 – 6)? Or are they equally at fault? Why do you think so?
7. How would you answer Jeremiah’s rhetorical questions in verses 7 and 9 (also verse 29)? What answer is provided in verse 10?
8. How is God going to punish Judah (verses 10, 13 – 18)? How will the words of God differ from the words of the false prophets? Why won’t the destruction be final?
9. What has become the prevailing attitude about God (verses 12, 22 – 24)? Why should people fear God when the wicked grow rich?
10. Which of Judah’s failings do you think angers God the most? Do you think God gets as angry as Jeremiah tells it?
11. If Jeremiah walked in your neighborhood, what would he find? What are peoples’ relationship with God like in your neighborhood, town or city? Would your “truth rating” save the city?
12. Is honesty that hard to practice? Why? When is it easy to be truthful? When is it hardest? In what area of life do you need to raise the level of honesty?
13. Who are the “fatherless” and “poor” in today’s society? Do you know any of these people? How are they treated? What can your church (or small group) do to defend the rights of the poor?
14. Who do you think are false prophets today? What is their lie? How do they profit?
15. People in Jerusalem’s day were blind to their faults and easily led to presume their innocence. What accountability mechanisms do you have in place to help detect spiritual blind spots in your life? How can your small group or your family help in this?