October, November, December 2015

Want to learn more about Jeremiah? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.

Lesson 1: The Prophetic Calling of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 1)
Does God have a plan for your life? Do the actions of the leaders and the people of your nation make a difference in how God treats your nation? This week we start a new series of lessons about a man God called to warn a nation that had turned its back on God. Let's dig into our study of Jeremiah and see what we can learn about difficult jobs!

Lesson 2: The Crisis (Within and Without) (Jeremiah 2 & 27)
Let's review a bit of history. God lead His people out of Egypt and into the promised land. Their mission? To claim the land promised to them. They never completely accomplished that task, but during the years of King David and King Solomon they controlled the largest area of the promised land. After Solomon's death, because of his high tax policies, God's people split into two nations. The northern kingdom (ten tribes) was Israel and the southern kingdom (two tribes) was Judah. Israel existed for about 200 years and then fell to the Assyrians. Judah continued on for about a 150 years when it fell to the Babylonians. It was approximately the last 40 years of Judah's history when Jeremiah warned the people of the coming destruction. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 3: The Last Five Kings of Judah (2 Chronicles 34-36, Jeremiah 22, 2 Kings 24)
We learned that Jeremiah spent forty years warning Judah of impending destruction. During that forty years, five kings ruled Judah. Were they all bad? Why would they ignore God's warnings? What lessons can we learn from them? Let's jump into our study of the Bible and find out!

Lesson 4: Rebuke and Retribution (Jeremiah 11, 12 & 17)
How would you compare to the people to whom Jeremiah was giving his warnings? When you think about what God is saying to you through the Bible and the inspired words of others, do you take those "course corrections" seriously, or do you simply do what you want? Can you trust your judgment? Can you trust yourself to make good decisions when it comes to changes you should make? Let's dive into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn that will make us more open to the leading of the Holy Spirit!

Lesson 5: More Woes for the Prophet (Jeremiah 18-19 & 20-21)
"No good deed goes unpunished" is an old saying. In our study this week, it seems that this saying dates back to the time of Jeremiah! How many times has a religious leader suffered as a result of doing God's will? Those involved in evil do not want to be rebuked or reminded of God's will. No doubt the extent of the problem sometimes increases because of a lack of tact and wisdom, but the main problem is the underlying resistance against light by those who love the dark (see John 3:19-21). Let's dive into our study of Jeremiah and learn more!

Lesson 6: Symbolic Acts (Genesis 4, Numbers 21, Jeremiah 13)
Have you considered the way in which God uses symbols? The entire Old Testament sanctuary service is symbolic of what Jesus would do for us. Calling Jesus "the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world" (John 1:29), brings to mind the symbolism of the sacrifice of a lamb for our sins. We introduced the idea last week that God taught Jeremiah to use symbols in his teachings about what God wanted the people to learn. This week we dive much more deeply into the subject. Let's see what new things we can learn from the Bible and symbols!

Lesson 7: The Crisis Continues (Jeremiah 9, 10 & 26)
If you are a parent of adult children, was there a time when you did not know what to do to help your children? I had those times. If you are a church leader, do you have times when you do not know what to do to solve church problems? Even as a child, there were conflicts that I could not resolve in my family. What do we do in situations like that? The first answer is to turn to God for help! But, does God, as our heavenly Father, also face situations like that? Does God have a difficult time solving the problems of His children because He gives us free-will? Jeremiah continues his warnings to God's people in our study this week, but in his warnings we get some insight in how to resolve what seem to be impossible problems. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 8: Josiah's Reforms (2 Chronicles 33-35, 2 Kings 23)
Solomon says that wise people, just like foolish and senseless people, die and leave their wealth to others. Psalms 49:10. We are in life together with all sorts of people who cause all sort of different things to happen to us. Josiah was God's man, but his young life was turbulent, and he was killed at an early age in battle. How do we make sense of these things? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

Lesson 9: Jeremiah's Yoke (Jeremiah 16, 27 & 28)
When you are uncertain of God's will, what do you do? Pray, right? Study to see if the Bible gives direction, right? Do you examine yourself in case your personal preferences might be interfering with your search for God's will? "I am willing to do God's will, as long as God's will is to do what I want to do!" I'm certain this has been a problem in my life in the past. While God is flexible in the paths our lives can take, our greatest blessing comes from taking the path He has in mind. Our lesson this week demonstrates that if we truly want to understand God's will, we can. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 10: The Destruction of Jerusalem (Ezekiel 8, Jeremiah 29, 37-39)
In Jeremiah 17:9 he says "The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?" We have an incredible ability to deceive ourselves. Those who reject God have an argument, they have a reason, for their evil behavior. Jeremiah saw a people engaged in the most bizarre behavior. On the one hand they claimed to be following God, and on the other hand they rejected God. Why not just reject God and drop the pretense? Is this something that we should be worried about, since we claim to follow God? Let's dig into our study of the Bible and learn more!

Lesson 11: The Covenant (Jeremiah 31, Genesis 9 & 12, Exodus 19, Galatians 3)
A "covenant" is a contract, an agreement between two parties in which both agree to do something on behalf of the other. Some Christians think that God had a series of poor covenants that He made with humans. I'm exaggerating, but the theory goes that God kept suggesting covenants until He got one that would actually work. Our study this week looks at several covenants. Are they a series of improved versions, much like improved software? Some suggest that God has had only one basic covenant with humans. Perhaps the truth is somewhere in between. One of the interesting discoveries about Jeremiah is that God has a very important covenant discussion with him. Let's dig into our study and learn more about what the Bible says on the issue of covenants!

Lesson 12: Back to Egypt (Jeremiah 40-44)
Have you experienced a time at work when you gave advice, it was rejected, and your employer took a course you thought was wrong? If it turned out your advice was right, what should happen the next time you give advice to your employer? You would expect your advice would be followed, right? What if you always gave the right advice to your employer and your employer always rejected your advice? How would you feel? Time for a new job, right? I would be very annoyed and frustrated that no one recognized the wisdom of my advice. Welcome to Jeremiah's world! After all of his warnings, and after his precise predictions, his advice is still rejected. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and learn more.

Lesson 13: Lessons from Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2, 5, 7, 23, 29 & 31)
What have we learned from our study of Jeremiah? This is the last lesson in this series, and like every experience in life, we need to contemplate what we can learn from it. Let's dive into our study of the Bible and solidify in our minds what we have learned!

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