Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. Do you like to argue, or do you avoid conflict? When was the last time you went against your natural tendency?
2. On a scale of 1 (“It’ll never work”) to 10 (“Go for it”), how do you rate on optimism?
3. When does Hananiah predict that Babylon will fall (verses 1 – 4)? Do you hear sincerity or sarcasm? Optimism or opportunism?
4. Likewise, what tone in Jeremiah’s voice do you hear in verse 6? Why is it easier to be a prophet of doom than a prophet of peace (verses 7 – 9)?
5. What does Hananiah do to illustrate his prophecy (verses 10 and 11)? How long has Jeremiah been wearing it (verse 1; Jeremiah 27:1)? Why do you think he leaves rather than argue his case?
6. What does the new message to Hananiah mean (verses 12 – 14)? How does Jeremiah show he is a true prophet (verses 15 – 17)?
7. As with alleged prophets for ancient Israel, today’s political advisors also give opposing advice (often to protect their vested interest). How do you know who to believe? What political opinion have you recently changed?
8. “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” Do you agree with this saying? Why is it often easier to say something good (as Hananiah did) rather than the truth (as Jeremiah did)?
9. Are you optimistic or pessimistic about prospects for a lasting international peace? What shapes your outlook? What role does your faith play?
10. Are you having trouble deciding something important right now?