Sin and Punishment – Part 1 of 2 (Jeremiah 8:4 – 9:1)

Scripture Text:

Jeremiah 8:4 – 9:1

(Click the Scripture text to open the text in a new window.)
1. What is your greatest accomplishment so far? How long did it take you to do it? What was so hard about it?

2. If you were a migratory bird, where would you like to spend your winters?

3. Are your trips to the doctor frequent or rare? Does the doctor usually know what’s wrong, or could you have taken care of it yourself? What advice do you find easiest, and hardest, to obey?

4. What about the people of Jerusalem amazes God (verses 4 – 7)? How are even the birds smarter than they?

5. Who preserved the written Law of the Lord (verses 8 – 12)? What have they done to deceive the people? What were their motives? How will God punish them?

6. Is verse 13 a threat of physical destruction, or is the figless tree the spiritual condition God finds Judah?

7. How would you describe the people’s feeling about the coming invasion (verses 14 – 16)?

  • frightened?
  • resolved?
  • nonchalant?
  • resigned?
  • angry at God?

8. How does Jeremiah feel (chapter 8:18 – 9:1)? What seems to bother him the most? Where does he hope to find healing (see Jeremiah 46:11 and Jeremiah 51:8)? Does his fountain of tears seem genuine to you, or it this for show?

9. What “social sins” prevail today, as in Jeremiah’s day? What other parallels do you see between the people and the leadership of Judah and those of your country?

10. How do you respond to them?

  • moral outrage?
  • self-denial?
  • genuine sorrow?
  • do-nothing resignation?
  • flight to warmer, safer climates?
  • determination to change things?

11. Jeremiah deserved his reputation as the “weeping prophet”. Who in your society has that reputation of intensely and extensively grieving over the social sins of the nation?

12. How might you learn to be more genuinely anxious over the welfare of others, even to the point of weeping?

13. Upon what human institution do people pin their hopes for “peace now”? What might Jeremiah say at one of their conferences?

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