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1. What “famous last words” have you had to eat recently? How did you feel when the other person go the last laugh?
2. When have you crowed, “I told you so”, over a similar fate happening to someone else?
3. Do you picture God as King or Queen? Is it possible to visualize God as neither male nor female?
4. The Jews flee the scene of the crime (the murder of Gedaliah’s murder) plus any who had been deported earlier (see 2 Kings 23:34) make up the “large assembly” (verses 1 and 15) to hear what would be Jeremiah’s last recorded prophecy. In this word of the Lord, what does Jeremiah try to explain (verses 2 – 6)?
5. What have the Jews in Egypt done (verses 7 – 10)? Does this surprise you, in light of all Judah has suffered? Why are they honoring Ishtar or the “Queen of Heaven” (verses 17 and 18; compare chapter 7:17 – 19)? What must their opinion of Yahweh be?
6. What does God promise in return (verses 11 – 14)? Who will be the few fugitives? Does Jeremiah’s prophecy surprise you?
7. Why do think this story of apostasy keeps playing over and over, with only the names or places changing?
8. What prophecy does Jeremiah make as a sign (verses 29 – 30)? Hophra was deposed and executed a few years later. What impact do you think Jeremiah’s accurate prediction would have on the Jews? Would that impact be any different than a current prediction of some astrologer coming true in a few years?
9. This chapter gives the end of Jeremiah’s story as we know it. Was his 40+ career a failure? How would you gauge his success as a prophet?
10. How can people hear God’s word, see God’s power and yet still misunderstand the message? In what sense were you like that with your parents? In what sense are you like that with God?
11. Would you say your life has been a success so far? On what basis? What constitutes failure?
- falling short of a goal?
- not seeing results for all you effort?
- not trying hard enough?
- making mistakes?
- not making any mistakes?
12. Looking at out world’s sordid and bloody history, would you say God has been a success? Can God fail, or can He only succeed?
13. What do you regret? Do you have a lot of regrets? How do “regrets” point to sin? What do you do with “regrets”?