Session 2: False Hope

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  • Study

    Begin this session by reading Scripture and answering questions to reflect on the selected Bible verses.

    Is Jeremiah a willing or unwilling prophet? How do you know?

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    What does Jeremiah, on behalf of God, call on the people to do?

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    What are the consequences if the people fail to respond?

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    How does Jeremiah condemn the people for a false faith?

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    How do the people show signs of a hypocritical faith?

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    What does God tell the people to do?

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    What does the jar represent? How is it a message of God’s judgment?

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    What phrase or idea do you see the religious leaders repeating?

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    How have the priests and prophets failed in their religious leadership?

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    How do the people treat Jeremiah for declaring the will of God?

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    How does Jeremiah view the role he must play? Why do you think he feels this way?

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    How does this passage have connections to the reading in Jeremiah chapter 1?

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  • Learn

    Jeremiah: a prophet of God known as “The Weeping Prophet.” Jeremiah was sorrowful about speaking condemnation to the Israelites, his own people, about their spiritual unresponsiveness to God’s expectations. He wrote this book during the peak of the Babylonian Empire.

    Jeremiah scolded the Israelites for their ethics and behavior, and for oppressing the widows, immigrants, and orphans. The people believed that if they offered sacrifices to God, they would remain the people of God.
    They did things out of greed and hid behind their religious actions. Jeremiah was sent to warn them of God’s coming judgment if they did not change their ways.

    Another reason for God’s anger was the religious leadership. The priests and prophets declared that God was on their side, and spoke falsely to the people about God’s favor.

    Lessons in Jeremiah

    • The book is more than just a declaration of judgement.
    • It warns us against a false confidence in God.
    • If we are truly the people of God, God will be for us.
    • If we attempt to be people of God simply by what we say, or by going through the motions of religion, God will be against us.
  • Grow

    The message of the prophets is a reminder that rejecting the will of God has consequences. How have you walked away from the will of God? How has it negatively impacted your life?

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    Jeremiah reminds us that our faith is not made up of just what we believe, but also of what we do. In your life, where have you possessed a false faith? What positive steps can you take to align your actions with your beliefs?

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    The prophet, Jeremiah, suffered from declaring the will of God to his own people. Do you sometimes reject the will of God by rejecting the person challenging your actions and behaviors? If so, why do you reject their correction?

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    The prophets were called to correct and deliver judgment to the people they loved. If God called you to play a similar role of correction, how can you make sure you do so in an affirming and restorative way?

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