The Consolations of the Prophet

Discovery for Students

The Consolations of the Prophet

OVERVIEW
DAYBREAK

SOURCE FOR QUESTIONS
Jeremiah 30:1 through 33:26

KEY VERSE FOR MEMORIZATION
“For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” (Jeremiah 30:3)

BACKGROUND

In this lesson’s text, the sequence of messages telling of impending destruction is interrupted. These four chapters, a message of comfort and future hope, are frequently called “The Book of Consolation” by Bible scholars. Although Jeremiah typically announced judgment and punishment for the sins of the Jewish people, in these chapters he proclaimed God’s promise of restoration. God revealed through the prophet that the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and the Southern Kingdom of Judah would one day return to their land and be reunited.

Although chapters 30 and 31 are not dated, it is probable that Jeremiah wrote some of this prophecy of restoration either while Jerusalem was under siege by the Babylonians or shortly thereafter. Chapters 32 and 33 took place during the siege — the tenth year of Zedekiah’s reign, while Jeremiah was imprisoned in the court of the guard. Although the Jews would shortly be led into captivity by the Chaldeans, God wanted the people of Judah to know that He still loved them and cared for them. In a merciful revelation of events to come, the Lord foretold a future time of peace and prosperity.

Most commentators agree that the prophecies of Jeremiah 30-33 refer not only to the restoration of Jerusalem after the seventy years of captivity, but also to the regathering of the Jews from all the nations in the end times. Therefore, besides bringing hope to the Jews of Jeremiah’s time, these chapters should encourage all those who are looking for the coming of the Lord. In this “Book of Consolation,” Christians can find promises of the coming of their King and Priest, Jesus Christ.

QUESTIONS

  1. According to Jeremiah 30:14-15 and Jeremiah 32:28-35, why was God allowing His people to be taken into captivity and to experience such pain and suffering?  
  2. Even as the people of Judah were being punished for their sins by God through the Chaldeans, God sent Jeremiah to encourage their hearts. Name at least four aspects of Jeremiah’s prophetical utterance in chapter 30 that would have brought encouragement to the people.
  3. In chapter 31, God continued the theme of the glorious days ahead for Israel and Judah by describing a future time of dancing (verses 4 and 13), planting (verses 5 and 28), and singing (verses 7 and 12). However, in Jeremiah 31:2, God reminded them of an incident from their past. Why would the historical reference in this verse be of encouragement to the Jews?
  4. Jeremiah was careful to repudiate the proverb, “The fathers have eaten a sour grape, and the children’s teeth are set on edge” (Jeremiah 31:29-30). What is the meaning of this proverb, and why does God reject it?
  5. In Jeremiah 31:31, God announced through the prophet that the day would come when He would institute a new covenant with His people. What is the core difference between the old Mosaic covenant and the New Covenant? Jeremiah 31:32-34
  6. In Jeremiah 32:6-15, God told Jeremiah that his cousin Hanameel would come and ask him to buy land in Anathoth, an area that had already been seized by the Chaldeans. Given that Jeremiah was in prison and that he knew the captivity would last for seventy years, the command on the surface would seem illogical. How did Jeremiah receive assurance that he was supposed to do as Hanameel suggested?
  7. Jeremiah stepped out in obedience to God and purchased the occupied field. However, he still recognized how illogical the purchase was, so he prayed to God (Jeremiah 32:16-25) and received an assurance (Jeremiah 32:27-44). Review this prayer communication between Jeremiah and God. What did Jeremiah do right in his prayer? How did God’s answer encourage Jeremiah?
  8. In Jeremiah 33, God promised to make Jesus Christ the King and Priest of Israel (verses 15-18). In verses 20-21, what assurance did He offer of this covenant?

CONCLUSION

Even as God fulfilled His promise of punishment, He consoled His people with a promise of restoration and prosperity. We, too, can be assured that God will do what He says He will do. He is the Lord, the God of all flesh — is there any thing too hard for Him?