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1. What is your favorite book of the Bible? What is your favorite book apart from the Bible? How do each of your favorites turn out in the end?
2. How far back do you date your “days of old”? Is that a past you would sooner forget, or are they the “good ol’ days”?
3. Chapters 30 and 31 (mostly in poetry) and perhaps, as well, chapters 32 and 33 (almost all prose) were originally one “book of consolation” (verses 1 – 3), which can be dated about 587 BC. the year before the fall of Jerusalem (see chapter 32:1). How do you suppose God conveyed this message to Jeremiah? By messenger? Audibly, giving dictation? In a dream (see chapter 31:26)?
4. What clues tell you this Book of Consolation is largely directed to the northern tribes of Israel (verses 7, 10, 18; also chapter 31:1 – 22)?
5. What had happened to Israel a century before Jeremiah (verse 8; see 2 Kings 17:5, 6, 24 – 33), a situation which would soon be rectified (verses 16 – 18)?
6. Who is “David their king” (verses 8 and 9)? What will he be like (verse 21; see chapter 23:5)? What had King Josiah of Judah done for the northerners early in Jeremiah’s career (see 2 Kings 23:15 – 20) to serve as a prototype for this righteous King to come?
7. What were the “days of old” (verse 20) like for Israel, under the reign of David? What fortunes, songs of praise and covenant promises would be restored (verses 18 – 22)? What will accomplish this turnabout?
8. Is it easy for you to detach yourself emotionally from people who were once important to you? After a “falling out”, does “out of sight, out of mind” come naturally? Would you like a “restoration” with someone from your past? How could it happen?
9. What and how could your fortunes be restored?
- more money, for less work?
- more knowledge, for less time?
- more friends, for less energy?
- Other? Explain how you are truly fortunate.