The Conflicts of the Prophet

Discovery for Students

The Conflicts of the Prophet

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK

SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Jeremiah 26:1 through 29:32

KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

BACKGROUND

It was common for Hebrew writers of this era to arrange the record of historical events under a theme, rather than in chronological sequence. These chapters are a collection of incidents and oracles from different periods of Jeremiah’s life, and show the reactions of the false prophets, the people, and leaders during Jeremiah’s ministry.

The leaders of Judah resisted the prophesies of Jeremiah because he brought bad news to them. His bitterest foes were the religious leaders of the nation. God reminded Jeremiah that he must preach the entire message from God, and to “diminish not a word” (Jeremiah 26:2). It would have been much easier for Jeremiah to soften his pronouncements. The pure message from God made Jeremiah sound like a traitor to Judah, for God had told the prophet to warn the people to submit to King Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon. God had ordained that Nebuchadnezzar would conquer Judah as judgment for sin.

False prophets were telling the leaders of Judah to resist captivity, and to join with other nations to fight against Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter 26 records how Jeremiah’s warning made the leaders of Judah so angry that they apprehended the prophet with the intent of killing him. However, certain of the elders intervened, and after the rehearsal of two historical examples, Jeremiah was spared.

In chapter 27, the prophet continued to urge the people to submit to Babylon. At God’s instruction, he used a yoke to portray the God-ordained captivity of Judah and her allies by Nebuchadnezzar. In chapter 28, the false prophet Hananiah contradicted Jeremiah’s words. However, God led Jeremiah to tell Hananiah that because he had taught rebellion against the Lord, he would die. Two months later, this prophecy was fulfilled — another demonstration of God’s judgment.

In the last chapter of our lesson, Jeremiah prophesied that God would bring the exiles back to Jerusalem after seventy years of captivity. This event took place shortly after Daniel was delivered from the lion’s den in 537 B.C.

Jeremiah was a faithful prophet. Instead of preaching what the people wanted to hear, he preached the truth, offering the only hope for Judah. The false prophets offered temporary comfort, with the consequence of long-term punishment. Jeremiah offered temporary correction but long-term benefit. Tragically, the people failed to heed Jeremiah’s warning.

QUESTIONS

  1. The first six verses of our text begin a message the Prophet Jeremiah was instructed to deliver to King Jehoiakim of Judah. What was the response to this message? (Jeremiah 26:7-9) What are some ways people today respond to warnings from God’s Word?
  2. In Jeremiah 26:18-24, the elders relayed historical accounts of two prophets of God. A number of years before, Micah had prophesied a similar message of destruction. Instead of harming Micah, King Hezekiah had called upon God for help and judgment was withheld. However, God’s Prophet Urijah prophesied destruction and he was put to death. What can we learn from these two accounts?
  3. In Jeremiah 27:2-3, what did God tell Jeremiah to do as an object lesson for the people? What did his actions signify? Jeremiah 27:8,11
  4. God alone sets up and brings down those in authority. In Jeremiah 27:5-7, He made it plain that He had ordained for Nebuchadnezzar to rule over Judah, and instructed the people to submit to his authority. In what ways should we submit to those God has placed in authority over us?
  5. The false prophet Hananiah resisted Jeremiah’s proclamation regarding Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon. He deceitfully told the priests and the people that the yoke of the king of Babylon would be broken, and that the exiles would return within just two years. What did Jeremiah say would happen to Hananiah as a result and why? Jeremiah 28:16-17
  6. What specific commands did God tell Jeremiah to put in his letter to those in exile? (Jeremiah 29:4-6) How would these commands apply to us?
  7. In Jeremiah 29:11, God offered a message of hope, directing the prophet to announce that He had good plans for Israel and Judah, who would one day seek Him. What were God’s good plans for Judah? How can we apply that promise in our lives? Jeremiah 29:10-14
  8. There is a key for answered prayer in Jeremiah 29:13. How do we search for the Lord with all of our hearts? What will happen as a result?

CONCLUSION

As God instructed Jeremiah to not deviate from His words in spite of the opposition he faced, we also must never diminish or ignore what God has instructed us to do. It may not be easy or popular, but if we are faithful, we will receive God’s richest blessing.