24: Jeremiah: The Book of Judgment

Jeremiah prophesied when Assyria, Babylon and Egypt were contending for world domination. Before, during, and after Judah’s downfall, he preached against idolatry, immorality, and apostasy. Although he was powerless to avert the impending judgment, the prophet never deviated from his mission to warn the people and call them to repentance.

Jeremiah communicated his messages through a variety of metaphors, parables, illustrations, figures of speech, and object lessons. He taught about God’s faithfulness and His concern for the spiritual welfare of His people.

This compassionate and humble man was called to pronounce a bold and unpopular message regarding the irreversible judgment and imminent doom of his own nation. He rebuked the superficial worship of priests, false prophets, and common people alike. The prophet insisted Judah must surrender to the Babylonians and accept the captivity as God’s judgment for sin. At great emotional and physical cost, he preached to Judah on the eve of their great catastrophe. Throughout his forty-year ministry, he was viewed as a traitor. He was humiliated, despised, persecuted, beaten, imprisoned, isolated, and rejected. Accordingly, this empathetic prophet was prone to discouragement and despair.

Jeremiah’s sensitive nature did not match his message, yet his ministry was one of exceptional courage and unwavering determination. His inner turmoil and loneliness vexed his spirit, but he was sustained by his confidence in God and His covenant promises.

Essay Questions

1. Describe Jeremiah’s attitude toward religious hypocrisy (Ch. 7-10).

2. Why was Jeremiah never allowed to get married and what did this illustrate to the nation of Judah (Ch. 16)?

3. What insights can be gleaned from Jeremiah’s dialogues with God from 15:10-21; 17:9-18 and 20:7-18?

4. Summarize Jeremiah’s message regarding Judah’s breach of God’s covenant (Ch. 11-12) and then summarize Jeremiah’s message concerning the new covenant (Ch. 31).

5. What does Daniel say about Jeremiah’s prophecies (Dan. 9:2)? What passages in Jeremiah are quoted in Matthew 2:17-18; 21:13, Romans 11:27 and Hebrews 8:8-13 and Hebrews 10:15-17? 

6. What is illustrated by the linen waistband (Ch. 13)? Explain Jeremiah’s illustration regarding the potter and his vessels (Ch. 18-19). What is the meaning of the vision of the figs (Ch. 24)? What was Jeremiah told to wear and why (Ch. 27)? What did the field of Anathoth symbolize (Ch. 32)?

7. How does Jeremiah describe the coming Messiah in chapter 23?

8. Summarize Jeremiah’s assessment of Judah’s false prophets (Ch. 23).

9. List the main points of “The Temple Sermon” in chapter 26.

10. What object did King Jehoiakim burn in chapter 36 and why?

11. In chapters 37-38, where was Jeremiah taken, what happened to him, and why?

12. Summarize the messages Jeremiah preached after the fall of Jerusalem (Ch. 43-44). 

13. From information in chapters 46 through 51, list the particular judgments upon each of the nine surrounding nations.


Maxim of the Moment

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