LESSON 4 (Jeremiah Ch. 1-25)
FLC SMALL GROUP
July 28- August 3
GATHER (5 min)
Thank everyone for coming. Introduce any new people that may be joining for the first time.
CHECK-IN (10 min)
Go around the room and invite participants share a high and/or low this week in their family.
READ SCRIPTURE (10 min)
Ask three different volunteers to read aloud the following three different scriptures:
Have Volunteer 1 read the following: Jeremiah 1: 4-10, 17-19
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: Jeremiah lived in the waning years of the Kingdom of Judah, he was a contemporary to Zephaniah and Habakkuk, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Jeremiah is sometimes known as the weeping prophet, because he is the author of the book Lamentations, written at time of Jerusalem’s fall. Jeremiah was perhaps the most reviled of prophet, facing opposition, imprisonment, and torture. Here the call of Jeremiah comes at a time of social and economic change for the kingdom of Judah. Jeremiah interprets his call as one destined to be a prophet in the face of rejection.
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” 7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. 9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land.19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Have Volunteer 2 read the following: Jeremiah 7:1-7
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: Here the Temple Sermon of Jeremiah outlines the unfaithful practices of the time and how the people were alienated from God even as they called on God’s name.
7 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “Stand at the gate of the Lord’s house and there proclaim this message: “‘Hear the word of the Lord, all you people of Judah who come through these gates to worship the Lord. 3 This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Reform your ways and your actions, and I will let you live in this place. 4 Do not trust in deceptive words and say, “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord!” 5 If you really change your ways and your actions and deal with each other justly, 6 if you do not oppress the foreigner, the fatherless or the widow and do not shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not follow other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you live in this place, in the land I gave your ancestors for ever and ever.
Have Volunteer 3 read the following: Jeremiah 28: 1-9
Pr. Steve’s Thoughts: What made the times so confusing is that a variety of prophets were speaking in the name of God, even saying the opposite thing. Here a false prophet was not speaking for some other God, but for the one true God. So how do you know who is right and who is wrong? What is true and what is false? This was the challenge to Jeremiah.
1 In the fifth month of that same year, the fourth year, early in the reign of Zedekiah king of Judah, the prophet Hananiah son of Azzur, who was from Gibeon, said to me in the house of the Lord in the presence of the priests and all the people: 2 “This is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: ‘I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon. 3 Within two years I will bring back to this place all the articles of the Lord’s house that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon removed from here and took to Babylon. 4 I will also bring back to this place Jehoiachin son of Jehoiakim king of Judah and all the other exiles from Judah who went to Babylon,’ declares the Lord, ‘for I will break the yoke of the king of Babylon.’”
5 Then the prophet Jeremiah replied to the prophet Hananiah before the priests and all the people who were standing in the house of the Lord. 6 He said, “Amen! May the Lord do so! May the Lord fulfill the words you have prophesied by bringing the articles of the Lord’s house and all the exiles back to this place from Babylon.7 Nevertheless, listen to what I have to say in your hearing and in the hearing of all the people: 8 From early times the prophets who preceded you and me have prophesied war, disaster and plague against many countries and great kingdoms.9 But the prophet who prophesies peace will be recognized as one truly sent by the Lord only if his prediction comes true.”
OPTIONAL: WATCH SERMON ON YOUTUBE OR LISTEN TO SERMON PODCAST (12 min)
You may want to watch the previous week’s sermon together on the YouTube app of your TV or listen to the audio podcast on your phone available on FLC’s website.
REFLECT ON THE PREVIOUS WEEK (40-60 min)
Have a conversation with your group about what you just read, anything from the past week’s sermon that grabbed any group members’ attention, or about anything from the week’s reading. Questions to consider…
1. What was new or compelling to you?
2. What questions do you have?
3. Was there anything that bothered you?
4. What did you learn about loving God?
5. What did you learn about loving others?
OPTIONAL: WATCH DVD previewing next week “Jeremiah Ch. 26-52” (11 min)
To get the most out of next week’s sermon and discussion, and for those who chose to do the nightly reading for the coming week, you may watch the video of Bible teacher John Walton explaining the themes and relevance of Jeremiah Ch. 26-52.
CLOSE (5 min)
Thank your participants for coming. Remind them of the next meeting time and make plans for who will be responsible for snacks/kids/etc.