Sunday School Lesson 42: Jeremiah 16, 23, 29, 31

As you read Jeremiah, you should do what the lesson materials for Isaiah suggested: ask how those to whom Jeremiah was speaking would have understood his prophecies, how those in the Book of Mormon (who had a record of part of his prophecies with them) would have understood them, how the members of the Church in New Testament times would have understood them, how we can understand them today, and how they may teach us of things yet to come. Looking at each prophecy from these perspectives may help us see things we otherwise would have overlooked or understand better why some things are opaque to us.

As you read, also think about Jeremiah’s situation. We know that he was reluctant to serve as a prophet. (See Jeremiah 1:6-8 and 17.) He probably knew Lehi, and it isn’t difficult to imagine him wondering “Why me? I’ve been called to remain unmarried and without children, and to be persecuted for prophesying, whereas Lehi has been called to prophecy and then, after relatively brief persecution, to take his family with him to a promised land. That doesn’t seem fair.” Whether Jeremiah wondered something like that or not, what was his response to his call? See Jeremiah 1:18: “I have made thee a defenced city, an iron pillar, and brasen walls [i.e., walls of brass] against the whole land.” What does this image suggest about what Jeremiah can expect his relation with Judah to be like? What particulars of Jeremiah’s biography bear out this image? (Read about Jeremiah in your Bible Dictionary.) How does the Lord strengthen him for his task?

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