Scripture Text:(click to open in a new window or tab)
1. Were you ever lured into wrongdoing, caught and punished while the ones who led you astray got away clean? What were the circumstances? How did you feel?
2. Have you ever found yourself under the authority of someone who wasn’t entitled to that authority? Summarize the situation and your reactions.
3. Who is responsible for the punishment Judah is suffering (verse 7)? Is this a realistic view or blame-shifting (see verse 16)?
4. Who are the different groups mentioned in verses 11 – 14? What is said of each? What is the total impact of these verses?
5. Describe the emotion you hear in verses 15 – 18. What is the climatic line of verses 1 – 18? How is this the beginning of Judah’s return?
6. What attribute of God does Jeremiah mention (verse 19)? Why is that significant?
7. When are we most apt to “consider our own ways”? During smooth sailing? In the midst of the storm? When we are going nowhere?
8. For what does Jeremiah pray throughout this chapter? Has God abandoned Judah or has Judah abandoned God? Both? Neither? Does the book end on a hopeful note or a despairing one? Why do you think so?
9. In what sense are you bearing the punishment for you the sins of your fathers? In what ways are you laying up punishment for your children? How can the cycle be broken?
10. As a nation, are we stoking up judgment for the next generation? Explain.
11. If repentance is the first step in returning to God’s favor, why is it so difficult for us? Where in your life is it most difficult to admit your failure and ask for God’s help? What incentive does the book of Lamentations give you to do that?