- Verses 7-14 How does Jesus’ teaching in these verses run counter to the ways of the world? How did his own life exemplify this teaching?
- Verses 15-24. How is Jesus’ parable related to the remark in verse 15? What is it that keeps people out of the kingdom, and who will, in fact, get there?
- What can we learn from Chapter 35 concerning God’s standards of judgement as regards manslaughter and murder?
- What was the principle lying behind the request of the daughters of Zelophehad, and to what did the request lead? What was the importance of all this? (Cf. Num 27).
- Compare verses 1-5 with verses 6, 16; and see John 7:24. If judging is not always wrong, what is our Lord condemning here?
- What is the teaching of verses 7-12 on the practice of prayer? What place is there for persistency, and what place for trusting? Is there any conflict between these two ideas?
- Verse 6. This indicates that, while Christians must not be guilty of condemning anyone, they must learn to discriminate in their witness. Cf. Prov. 9:8.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
52:24. ‘The three door keepers’: Denoting three high officials of the temple who had charged of the three gates.