Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. Have you ever been vandalized? What happened? How did it make you feel?
2. If you wrote a book, who would the last person you would want to read it? Who would be the harshest critic? Who would be “president” of your fan club?
3. How often have you tried excusing yourself for not turning in a paper by saying something like, “my dog ate it”? Did that ever happen?
4. What roles did Jeremiah, Baruch and the Lord each play in producing the first version of the Book of Jeremiah (verses 1 – 4, 17, 18)? Why might a written account fare better than nearly 20 years of preaching?
5. Why do you think Jeremiah is banned from the temple area (verses 5 – 7; see Jeremiah 26:7 – 11)? Who might have called the time of fasting (verse 9): the king? the priests? the Lord?
6. Why do the officials tell Baruch and Jeremiah to hide (verses 16 – 19)? How has the family of Shaphan treated Jeremiah in the past (see Jeremiah 26:24)? Why must they tell the king?
7. What review does the king give Jeremiah’s book (verses 22 – 24)? How would you compare Jehoiakim’s response to God’s word and his father’s (Josiah’s) response to God’s word (2 Kings 22:11 – 23:3)?
8. How must have Jeremiah felt when he heard the fate of the scroll? How did the Lord address that felt need and the cockiness of Jehoaikim (verses 27 – 31; see also 2 Kings 24: 1)?
9. What is the point of writing it all down again (verses 28, 32; compare with Exodus 34:1)? What extra words might have appeared in the second version of the book of Jeremiah?
10. Have you ever persisted in a task for years despite legal opposition and a total lack of visible success? What would motivate you (or anyone) to persist?
11. Why do you think officials sympathetic to Jeremiah did not stand up to the king? What would decisive action have cost them? Have you ever “look the other way” when something unjust or unethical was going on?
12. How do people today show disdain for God’s word? Do you honor God’s word? How?
13. How do the events of this chapter account for the patch-work quilt shape and non-chronological order of the current Book of Jeremiah? (For instance, if this book were in chronological order, chapter 45 would come in between chapter 36:8 and chapter 36:9).
14. What is your explanation, based in part on this chapter, of how the Word of God came to be written in the words of men?