Jeremiah (week 4)

Monday, 21 April 2008 15:55

We all want justice. We want what is fair. But we realize that if we received from the Lord only what is just and fair, we would receive a fair and just punishment for our sin. So we also want mercy. There again, though, we realize that God can’t just ignore our sin

Week Four Jeremiah 39 – 52

Justice and Mercy

 

 

 

We all want justice. We want what is fair. But we realize that if we received from the Lord only what is just and fair, we would receive a fair and just punishment for our sin. So we also want mercy. There again, though, we realize that God can’t just ignore our sin. After all, He has a target for our life, and that is holiness. We have all missed that mark; i.e. we have sinned.

 

So how can a just God be also merciful? And how can a loving, merciful God be also just? As Christians, we know that both of these attributes of God, His mercy and His justice, are fulfilled in the cross of Christ. God shows us mercy and punishes sin on the cross.

 

What does that all have to do with Jerusalem in Jeremiah’s day? The time had finally come when God’s justice was going to be shown in punishing Judah for their sins. The Babylonian capture of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple, and the exile of the people are recorded in the last few chapters of Jeremiah. All of that was fair and just. But God clearly showed His mercy as well. The 70-year exile was punishment. But after all, it was only 70 years. It was justice, but it was mercy also.

 

Thank God for both His mercy and His justice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memory Verse

“Do not fear, O Jacob my servant, for I am with you,” declares the LORD. “Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.”

Jeremiah 46:28

 


Week Four Jeremiah and Lamentations

Day

1

The Fall of Jerusalem

Read Jeremiah 39 – 41.

 

a. What happened in the ninth year of King Zedekiah’s reign (39:1)?

 

 

b. What happened to King Zedekiah and his family (39:6 – 7)?

 

 

c. What did the Babylonians do for Jeremiah (39:11 – 14)?

 

What do you think Jeremiah’s fellow countrymen thought about that?

 

 

d. What were the Israelites told to do in Babylon (40:9)?

 

 

e. Chapter 41 is the account of a revolt against Babylon led by Ishmael. How would you describe that time?

 

 

f. Meditate on what you learn from this time of history and how it affects your life.

 

Day

2

Escape to Egypt

Read Jeremiah 42 – 44.

 

a. Many ran to Egypt in fear of the Babylonian retaliation for the revolt. They came to Jeremiah for guidance from the “LORD your God”. What was His reply to them (42:7 – 12)?

 

 

b. What was the response from the “arrogant men” about God’s warning to not go to Egypt (43:1 – 5)?

 

 

What did they do with Jeremiah (43:6)?

 

 

c. They even refused to stop worshipping idols (44:15 – 23), thinking that their disaster had come from not worshipping them. How would you describe what is going on at that time?

 

 

d. Pray about your attitude of obedience to God’s word in your life.

 


Week Four Jeremiah and Lamentations

Day

3

Prophecies Against the Nations

Read Jeremiah 45 – 48.

 

a. In Chapters 46 – 51, Jeremiah begins to prophesy to the nations around Israel, nations such as Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Ammon, and Babylon. But before he does, he has a brief message to his faithful aid and scribe, Baruch, in Chapter 45. Summarize that message.

 

 

b. How would you summarize the prophecy to Egypt in Chapter 46?

 

 

c. How would you summarize the prophecy to the Philistines in Chapter 47?

 

 

d. How would you summarize the prophecy to Moab in Chapter 48?

 

 

e. These prophecies against the nations will continue in the next reading. What do you learn from this to apply to your life?

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Day

4

More Prophecies Against the Nations

Read Jeremiah 49 – 51.

 

a. How would you summarize the prophecy to the nations mentioned in Chapter 49?

 

 

b. The final, and longest, prophecy is against Babylon (Chapters 50 – 51). How would you summarize that prophecy?

 

 

c. According to 51:64b, “The words of Jeremiah end here.” The next chapter is an appendix added later. His message has not been (especially in the last few chapters) a very pleasant one, has it?

 

 

What do you learn about God from these prophecies that is important to your walk with Him?


Week Four Jeremiah and Lamentations

Day

5

The Prologue

Read Jeremiah 52.

 

a. The depiction of the fall of Jerusalem found here is similar to that found in Chapter 39. Why do you think it is repeated?

 

 

b. The data that is given at the end of the chapter (52:28 – 30), helps to put in perspective the number of people sent into exile. It also shows the three stages of the exile. See if you can find estimated dates for each of these stages:

 

ü the first exile “in the seventh year”

 

ü the second stage “in Nebuchadnezzar’s 18th year”

 

ü the third stage “in his 23rd year”

 

c. What do you learn from all of this? As you look back on your study these last four weeks of the life and ministry of Jeremiah, what do you get out of it to apply to your life?

 

 

Week Four Summary

Justice and Mercy

 

Deep Conviction: did you get it?

As you close this week’s study, write a summary of your convictions.

 

 

 

 

 

Put it in your heart.

Quote the memory verse for the week.

 

Share it.

Call or visit someone and share your thoughts from this week’s studies.

 

Prepare for worship and fellowship.

Recommended Scripture: Psalm 130

Recommended Song: Years I Spent in Vanity and Pride

 


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