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Jeremiah 19-20

Talks for Growing Christians

Destruction and Despair

Jeremiah 19-20

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Lesson Number 19

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The message of the prophet includes good and bad news.
  2. The life of the prophet includes up and down times.

Practical Application

  1. Stay moldable!

Questions

  1. In chapter 18, the meaning of the object lesson of the potter and his clay vessel was the sovereignty of God over Israel and over all nations. Here in chapter 19, the meaning of the broken clay vessel is the _________________ of Jerusalem.
  2. In chapter 18, the clay of the vessel was still soft. What was God’s message in this object lesson regarding His judgment?
  3. In chapter 19, the clay of the vessel was hardened. What was God’s message here regarding His judgment?
  4. In chapter 19 the Lord said that the Valley of the Son of Hinnom would be called the Valley of Slaughter. Why did God give the valley this name? What is the valley called today? Which side of Jerusalem is this valley located in this present day?
  5. In his prayer in chapter 20, Jeremiah calls for vengeance on his persecutors. Is it his intent to bring vengeance on them himself?

Answers

  1. The meaning of the hardened vessel being broken is the “breaking” or destruction of the city of Jerusalem and the ensuing captivity of the people as a result of the Babylonian invasion.
  2. The soft or moldable clay illustrated God’s willingness to withhold His judgment if the nation would change her ways. Read chapter 18:8-11 to see how clearly God pointed this out to Israel.
  3. In chapter 19, the hardened clay vessel was broken just as Israel would be broken because of her hardened heart and her refusal to change her wicked ways.
  4. The valley would be called the Valley of Slaughter because the dead bodies of those killed during the Babylonian invasion would be thrown into the valley. The valley is still called the Hinnon Valley today, and is located on the south side of the old city of Jerusalem.
  5. No. Jeremiah rightly asks God to bring vengeance on his persecutors. He does not take vengeance into his own hands.

Discuss/Consider

  1. One of the more hideous sins of Israel in Jeremiah’s day was their “taking the blood of the innocents”, or child sacrifice. Is there a similarly hideous sin taking place in our country (and around the world) today? Is it possible that the clay of our national vessel is hardened to the extent that God will have to break it in judgment, or is it still soft enough to be re-molded?

Challenge

  1. In his prayer, Jeremiah was very honest and open with God. He expressed his feelings and frustrations, even voicing his concern that God had deceived him. When you are in the midst of frustration and apparent failure, are you honest and open in your prayers before God? Do you, as Jeremiah did, turn from questioning God to recognizing His power and righteousness, so that you might instead praise Him?

Key Verses

  • "But the Lord is with me as a mighty, awesome one. Therefore my persecutors will stumble, and will not prevail.” Jeremiah 20:11a

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