Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
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?
Which aspect means the most to your spiritual walk? Why?