Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. If you could rename yourself, what new name would you pick? Why?
2. Why did you pick the names you did for your children? Or, what are your favorite names for children?
3. What’s the first thing you want to know when you’ve heard someone has had a baby?
4. Jeremiah’s cracked pot lands him in what kind of trouble (verses 1 and 2)? How does he react to the disciplinary action of Pashhur (verses 3 – 6)?
5. To whom will the renamed Pashhur be a terror and why? (Note: These events were fulfilled in 597 BC (see 2 Kings 24:13) and 586 BC (see 2 Kings 25:13 – 17).
6. What happens to Jeremiah the day he is confined to prison (verses 2, 3, 7, 10)? What blame does Jeremiah dare shift to God (verse 8)? What internal tension does that create? Which seems more dominant at this point: personal bitterness or divine compulsion?
7. What totally opposing emotions take turns gripping him (verses 13 – 16)? Which feeling do you think is winning at this juncture? Why is Jeremiah so despairing of the day of his birth (see Jeremiah 1:5; compare with Job 3)?
8. Why doesn’t God answer his outburst? Has God been very consoling to him in the past?
9. Have you ever done the right thing and then suffered for it? How did it make you feel? What did you say to God?
10. Where in your life are you facing a “no-win” situation?
11. Is your way of handling depression and anger anything like Jeremiah’s way? Have you ever wished you were never born?
12. Do you keep violence inside or let it out? How often do you ride an emotional roller coaster – up one moment, down the next?
The terrible sorrow and anguish of Jeremiah echoes the sorrow and anguish of God Himself. The Lord sees His own people going on in sin and unbelief, ignoring His goodness toward them and making it necessary for Him to chasten them. God’s message was like fire in Jeremiah’s bones; so powerful that Jeremiah couldn’t resist telling it. The force God used on Jeremiah was the power of truth.