Thoughts to Ponder: Chapter 1

Chapter 1: A Message from God ~ Jeremiah 25:1-14

Q1 – What did the Israelites do that made God so unhappy with them? (Reread these verses: Jeremiah 25:5-7) How did they arouse God’s anger with what their hands had made?

A1 – God was unhappy with their evil ways and evil practices, some of which were quite vile. They were following and worshipping other gods, including some they had created with their own hands. (How can something you create yourself from inanimate objects possess power, especially in contrast to God Almighty, who created the universe and delivered them from Egyptian bondage?)

This was exactly what God had commanded they not do in the first two of the Ten Commandments. (see A1 to the Intro Questions). When warned repeatedly by the prophets to stop doing these evil things, the people would not listen. Jeremiah himself had been cautioning them for twenty-three years.

Q2 – What types of “other gods” might people today be serving? How might “what your hands have made” cause problems for Christians today?

A2 – While some people intentionally worship Satan, most do so unintentionally by making the focus of their lives something other than God. This can happen by allowing other people, rather than God, to hold ultimate sway over one’s thoughts and actions. Actually, it could be worshipping one’s own self, living one’s life for the purpose of self gratification. It can also happen when one’s life revolves around accumulating material possessions, something that can afflict people of any economic strata, not just the “rich.”

Q3 – How did God use “the peoples of the north” and Nebuchadnezzar for His purposes? (As you study the book of Daniel, think on how God fulfilled this prophesy given in Jeremiah 25:9-14.)

A3 – God used the Babylonians and their ruler, Nebuchadnezzar, to discipline His people. If only they had turned from their evil ways, they could have possessed the land given to their ancestors forever (Jeremiah 25:5). Because they deliberately disobeyed God’s commands for years, ignoring the warnings of the prophets, He took their land away from them. He wanted their hearts, their love and their devotion. When they stubbornly refused God, He got their attention by taking away their most prized possession. Indeed, the events unfolded just as Jeremiah had prophesied.