Habakkuk 1:1-2:5

  1. What is the prophet’s first complaint, and what is God’s strange answer to Habakkuk?
    See 1:2-3, 5-11.
  2. What further problem does this raise in the prophet’s mind, and what answer is he given?
    See 1:12-17 and 2:2-5.
  3. What course of action does 2:1 suggest that the Christian should adopt when perplexed at God’s dealings?
    Cf. Ps. 73:16, 17; Mic. 7:7.
    Are you faithful in this way?

Notes

  1. 1:7b. The Chaldeans so-called ‘justice and dignity’ are arbitrary and self-determined.
  2. 2:2. God’s answer is to be written down plainly so that it may be read at a glance.
  3. 2:4, 5. God’s answer is in two parts: (a) The arrogant Chaldean, whose soul is not upright, shall fail and pass away. Cf. Is. 2:12-17. (b) The righteous man will endure. He will live by his faith, a faith inspired by God’s faithfulness, which keeps him steadfast. The profound truth expressed here is seen in its full significance in the gospel of Christ. Cf. Rom. 1:16, 17.
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Lamentations 5

  1. How would you infer from this chapter that it was written sometime after Jerusalem had fallen?
    How would you sum up the conditions in the land?
    How does this chapter illustrate what is said in Heb. 12:11?
    Contrast the present disposition of the people with what they formally said (Jer. 5:11, 12; 18:18).
    What did they still lack?
  2. With verse 16, cf. Jer. 13:18, and with verse 21, Jer. 31:18. Consider how much God’s word spoken before through Jeremiah meant to the people at such a time. Cf. John 13:19; 14:29; 16:4.

Note

Verse 9. A refers of the danger of attack from desert robbers when the people ventured out to reap the harvest.

 

Lamentations 4

  1. Make a list of the statements in this chapter that emphasize the extraordinary severity of the divine judgment. Notice how all the classes of the community are affected.
    What is the particular cause assigned here for so great a calamity? Cf. Jer. 23:9-14.
  2. With verse 17, cf. Jer. 2:36, 37; 37:7, 8; and with verse 20, cf. Ps. 146:3, 4; Jer. 17:5, 6.

Note.

Verse 20. A reference to King Zedekiah; cf. Jer. 39:4-7.

 

Lamentations 3

  1. Verses 1-20 the poet, speaking in the name of the community pours out his heart ‘like water before the presence of the Lord’ (2:19). Notice the change from the minor to the major key at verse 21.
    What causes it? Do the Psalmists’ experiences in Ps. 42:1-5 and 73:16,17a provide a clue?
  2. Consider how remarkable is the appearance here, in verses 22-42, of such a noble expression of assurance concerning God’s mercies.
    What aspects of God’s character are most emphasized in these verses, and what should be our attitude of mind and spirit in time of affliction or chastisement?
    Cf. Joel 2:12-14. Why is it both foolish and wrong for a man to complain and murmur in time of chastisement (verses 37-39)? Cf. Jer. 5:19-24; Prov. 19:3.
  3. In verses 43-54 the poet, in the name of the people, again pours out his heart before the Lord and, having done so, is strengthen to pray again, and receives comfort. What is his prayer (verses 55-66)?
    What factors in the Poet’s situation might lead us not to judge this prayer for requital too harshly?

Notes

  1. Verse 20. An alternative reading is, ‘thou wilt surely remember and bow down to me’.
  2. Verse 38. ‘Calamities’: Cf. Amos 3:6; Is. 45:7.
  3. Verse 63. Cf. Job 30:9.

Lamentations 2

Verses 1-9 deal particularly with the devastation of building in Judah and Jerusalem, and the rest of the chapter with the suffering of various classes of the inhabitations.

  1. Try to imagine the desolation portrayed here and the intensity of the people’s sorrow. Cf. 1:12.
    What is said of God’s ‘right hand’ in verses 3, 4?
    Contrast with such passages as Exod. 15:6, 12; Ps. 63:8; 139:10.
  2. What evidence in this chapter suggests that already the disaster of the judgment is having one of its intent effects?
    Cf. 2 Chro. 7:13, 14. Are we, as God’s children, as sensitive as we ought to be to his disciplinary dealings?

Notes

  1. Verse 2. ‘Dwellings’: i.e., country dwellings as opposed to ‘strongholds’.
  2. Verse 4. ‘Tent’ here denotes the city.
  3. Verse 6a refers to the temple. ‘He has broken down h is tabernacle like a garden hut’.
  4. Verse 22a. Instead of summoning worshippers to a festival, God has called together ‘terrors on every side’, so that none of his people escaped. Cf. Is. 28:21.

 

Lamentations 1

Verses 1-11 despite the covenant people in the guise of widow. The second half of the chapter is the lament by the desolate widow herself.

  1. What ingredients make up Jerusalem’s cup of sorrow e.g., loneliness, bereavement, reversal of fortune, etc.? Make a list of them.
    How and why had Jerusalem come to such a pass? See especially verses 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20; cf. Heb. 10:29-31; Lev. 26:27-33.
  2. Do you find any note of resentment in this complaint? ‘The sense of tragedy is heightened by the recognition that it was avoidable’.
    What is commendable in the attitude of this chapter? Note verse 18, and cf. 51:3,4; Dan. 9:6-8; Rom. 3:4-6.

Notes

  1. Verse 2. ‘Lover… friend’s: i.e., neighboring peoples with whom she had sought alliance. Cf. Jer. 30:14.
  2. Verse 6. ‘her princes…’:cf. Jer. 39:4, 5.

Jeremiah 51:59 – 52:34

  1. 51:59-64. Note the date of this incident. At the time, Babylon was rising to the height of her power and glory, and Jeremiah was convinced that she would enjoy complete supremacy over the nations. See chapter 28, which belong to the same year.
    How, then does this commission which Jeremiah gives to Seraiah illustrate the truth of Heb.
    11:1, that ‘faith is being certain of what we do not see’?
  2. Chapter 52 is very similar to 2 Kgs. 24:18 – 25:30. It tells once more the story of the fall of Jerusalem, the destruction of the temple and the captivity of the people, perhaps to emphasize how complete was the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s words. For example, compare verse 3 with 7:15; verse 6 with 14:15-18; verses 8-11 with 34:3; verse 13 with 7:14; 9:11; 19:13; 32:28, 29; verse 15 with 16:9-13; 21:9; verses 18, 19 with 27:19-22. See 1:12. Do you believe this, and live by it?

Note.

52:24. ‘The three door keepers’: Denoting three high officials of the temple who had charged of the three gates.