Promise Of Restoration (Jeremiah 33)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 33

1. When were you most homesick? When were you most sick of home? What happened in each instance?

2. What current situations come to mind for you as you picture these fragments of dialogue expressing concern about promises made and not yet fulfilled . . .

  • “But you said ___” . . . “When did I say that?”
  • “Here it is in writing” . . . “Ah, that contract has be superseded by a new one.”
  • “I can’t trust you” . . . “What do I have to do, sign in blood?”

3. This chapter summarizes some themes from earlier in Jeremiah’s life. How might it also be an extension of his Book of Consolation (chapters 31 and 32)? (hint: Why does Jeremiah say a “second time,” verse 1)?

4. With the siege of Jerusalem still underway (verses 4 and 5), what must have happened to their hope, necessitating this second word?

5. What three things does the Lord promise to do in and for His people (verses 6 – 8)? Toward what end does God bless them (verse 9)?

6. What signs of hope are conveyed by the sights and sounds of verses 10 and 11 (compare chapter 7:34; chapter 16:9; chapter 25:10)? What other activities would you use to express the same hope?

7. What tow offices does God once again promise to establish (verses 15 – 18; see chapter 23:5, 6)? When were these promises first made (see Numbers 25:13; 2 Samuel 7:12 – 16; Genesis 22:17)? Why might the people need reassurance that God will still keep His word as always

8. Who will ultimately fulfill both offices? How so (see Luke 1:32, 33; Hebrews 7:11 – 25)?

9. Are the people justified in saying God has rejected Israel and Judah (verses 23, 24)? Who rejected who?

10. Have you ever doubted God’s faithfulness? Why? What hope do you have in the times when you were unfaithful to God?

11. Jewish people through the ages have had mixed thoughts on these promises of a Messiah. Do you wonder why God seems to wait so long to act? What answers seem to satisfy you for the time being?

12. Israel needed constant reassurance. Do you need to be reminded of God’s promises? Which promise, recorded in Jeremiah, do you need to remember now?

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Jeremiah Buys A Field (Jeremiah 32)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 32

1. On a scale of 1 (“a fool and his money are soon parted”) to 10 (“Midas touch”), how would you rate your business acumen? Are you better at spending money or making money?

2. Have you ever bought any real estate? Was it easier or harder than you thought it would be? Would you do it again?

3. What was the dumbest purchase you’ve made?

4. This chapter resumes stories from Jeremiah’s history. How might it also be an extension of his Book of Consolation (chapters 31 and 32)?

5. At the end of chapter 26, Jeremiah was last seen under arrest for preaching in the Temple. As this chapter opens in 587 B.C. (verses 1 – 5), what is happening to Jerusalem and to Jeremiah? Why?

6. How then do you account for the intrusion and seeming irrelevance of Jeremiah’s cousin and God’s confirming word (verses 6 – 8)? At this time is the real estate market a buyer’s market or a seller’s market?

7. Why does Jeremiah have the “right and duty” to buy it (see Leviticus 25:23 – 25; Ruth 4:1 – 4)? Does he think it is a good deal, or does he feel stuck (verses 24 and 25)?

8. Why then does he buy the field (verses 8 – 12)? What proof did he have that it was the right thing to do?

9. How doe the parts played by Hanamel, the witnesses and Baruch serve the overall point of this passage?

10. How does Jeremiah’s prayer (verses 17 – 25) serve that overall purpose? What themes from chapters 31 and 32 does he bring before God? Is this prayer a prayer of affirmation or resignation? Why do you think so?

11. What comfort does God offer in verses 26 – 29? In verses 36 – 41? In verses 42 – 44?

12. If the spiritual health of Anathoth is at all like the other Israelite towns (verses 30 – 35), what will probably be the fate of Jeremiah’s newly acquired property (see chapter 11:21 – 23)? Why then does God ask Jeremiah to buy the field (verses 42 – 44)? What do you think the rest of the city would have thought about this crazy real estate transaction?

13. Of what comfort to you are long-range assurances of prosperity, when your present financial outlook is precarious (at best) or bankrupt (at worst)?

14. What lessons of hope have you learned that could have only been taught you through adversity, doom and gloom?

15. God gave Jeremiah advance confirmation of His will about Jeremiah’s purchase of the field from his cousin? Has God ever told you in advance what He wants you to do when a certain situation arises? What role does God have in your decision-making process?

16. Where do you think the world will be in 70 years? Is it hard for you to put stock in the present when the world looks so grim? What investment would God want you to make in the future of your world, as a testimony of your faith in God?

17. When have you stepped out on faith and then seriously reconsidered, even rescinded, your actions? If you ever challenge God about the way things work out for you, how does God answer? What kind answers do you expect?

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The Restoration of Israel: Part 2 of 2 (Jeremiah 31)

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Scripture Text:

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Jeremiah 31

1. Right now, would you say your spiritual life is closer to a sunrise or a sunset? Is a new day dawning in your life? How so?

2. “It’s always darkest before the dawn”, the saying goes. How has this been true for you?

3. What is the best news you heard last week? What made it so special?

4. Chapter 32:1 – 22 continues the consolation for Israel. By what other names is Israel called in this section (verses 7, 10, 17, 18)?

5. What evidence do you see here that the promise of restoration is extended to the southern kingdom of Judah, as well (verses 1, 23 – 40)?

6. What political vision does Jeremiah have of the restored nation (verses 5 -8)? Why would Israel be considered the “foremost of nations” (see Deuteronomy 7:6 – 8)? Why will they come “with weeping” (verse 9)?

7. Who else is included in this vision and why (verses 10 – 14)?

8. Who are Rachel and her children (verse 15; see Genesis 29:18, 30; Genesis 46:19, 20)? How and why does Jeremiah use the image of “Rachel weeping”? (Note: Babylon turned Ramah, north of Jerusalem, into a detainment camp for Jews being led into captivity.) What use of this image does the early church make (see Matthew 2:8)?

9. What other images of grieving and consolation give hope to the readers (verses 16 – 20, 23 – 25, 27, 28)?

10. What relationship does God want to restore between Himself and Israel (verses 21, 22; see also Hosea 2:18 – 20)? How can adulterous Israel become a “virgin” again?

11. What is the meaning of the proverb quoted in verse 29 (see Ezekiel 18:2 -4)? Is God changing the rules (e.g., Exodus 20:5; Numbers 14:18) by which many thought of themselves as guilty (verse 30; see Deuteronomy 24:16)?

12. What was the covenant God made with Israel’s forefathers (verses 31, 32; see Genesis 17:1 – 14; Exodus 19:1 – 6)? What was “wrong” or obsolete about this old or first covenant (see Hebrews 8:6 – 13; Hebrews 9:13 – 15; Hebrews 10:11 – 18; where Jeremiah is quoted)?

13. How will the new covenant supersede or fulfill the old one (verses 33, 34)? In what way will it be a covenant? What seals or secures the covenant from God’s side (verses 35 – 37)?

14. The exiles rebuilt Jerusalem after 70 years. The city did not prove invincible, but was sacked again, most notably by the Romans in A.D. 70 (see Luke 21:6). What then does God’s promise of eternal security for Jerusalem really mean (verses 38 – 40)?

15. How and when is the promise of the new covenant put into effect (see Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:16 – 18)? How would you explain the difference between the old and new covenants to a friend?

16. Which covenant are you living under? law or grace? How do you know for sure? What does it mean to you to truly know the Lord as Jeremiah’s intended? What is God’s part? What is yours?

17. Jeremiah’s new covenant promises:

  • ready forgiveness of sins (chapter 30:34)?
  • freedom from the sins of the parents (chapter 30:29)?
  • internal working of the Spirit (chapter 31:33, 34)?
  • all the above?
  • other?

Which aspect means the most to your spiritual walk? Why?

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