What is this?
These Sabbath School lesson outlines aid Sabbath School teachers & members in their weekly study
& preparation for Sabbath School classes.
Join the Discussion
Use the form at the bottom of the page to share with other readers your thoughts about this lesson.
Sabbath School Lessons on Jeremiah
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
What about Ellen White?
to learn why I generally do not cite Ellen G. White in the lessons.
Looking for old Sabbath School lessons?
Sabbath School lesson study outlines from previous quarters are saved in the Sabbath School lesson archive
Got questions or comments?
Go to our contact form
and drop us a note.
SabbathSchoolLessons.com operates like grace: it is free, but not without cost.
We're counting on your ongoing financial support to help us continue providing these
lessons to Sabbath School teachers and members around the world. You may cancel your monthly contribution at any time.
Get these Sabbath School lessons by e-mail! Subscribe to the Bible Study of the Week mailing list:
Subscribe in a reader
Lesson 5: More Woes for the Prophet *
Introduction: "No good deed goes unpunished" is an old saying. In our
study this week, it seems that this saying dates back to the time of
Jeremiah! How many times has a religious leader suffered as a result
of doing God's will? Those involved in evil do not want to be rebuked
or reminded of God's will. No doubt the extent of the problem
sometimes increases because of a lack of tact and wisdom, but the
main problem is the underlying resistance against light by those who
love the dark (see John 3:19-21). Let's dive into our study of
Jeremiah and learn more!
- Tingling Ears
- Read Jeremiah 19:1-3. If someone said that what he was
about to tell you would make your ears "tingle," would you
wait and listen?
- Read Jeremiah 19:7. Do you have plans for your life? What
will happen to the plans of those who live in Judah? (They
will be ruined.)
- I'm going to take a wild guess that no one would like
an animal to eat them when they die. What is the
greater concern here? (No one who cares about you is
left alive to bury you!)
- Read Jeremiah 19:8-9. How bad will things get in
Jerusalem? (People will become cannibals - they will eat
their own children.)
- Read Jeremiah 19:10-12. God has Jeremiah use a visual aid,
smashing a jar, to convey His message to the people. Why?
(Different people learn in different ways, but a visual
aid helps people to understand and remember the message.)
- We have several references in these verses to
Topheth. Read Isaiah 30:33 and 2 Kings 23:10 and tell
me what kind of place this seems to be? (This is hell
on earth. They created a big fire trench and then
burned their children as a sacrifice to Baal and
- Are your ears tingling? Jeremiah says Jerusalem will
become like hell on earth. How would you react if
Jeremiah were speaking to you in this way?
- The Leaders' Reaction
- Read Jeremiah 20:1-2. The ears of the religious leaders
are tingling so much that they beat Jeremiah and threw him
into some stocks. When I was in Williamsburg, Virginia, I
tried out the wooden stocks they have in the colonial
village. If you have experienced what it is like to be in
stocks, tell me what additional problems you can imagine
if you were beaten before you were put in stocks? (Read
Deuteronomy 25:2-3. Stocks are very uncomfortable, and if
I had just been flogged, it would make things far worse!)
- How do you explain what the religious leaders did to
Jeremiah? (Violence is the response of those who are
unable to put up a logical counter-argument.)
- Read Jeremiah 20:3-6. Has Jeremiah learned his lesson? (He
tells Pashhur, the man who put him in stocks, that he will
be terrorized (his new name means "terror on every side"),
captured and die in Babylon.)
- What clue do we get about Pashhur's special interest
in what Jeremiah is prophesying? (The last line tells
us that Pashhur is a false prophet who has been lying
about Judah's future. Now we see more clearly why
Pashhur wants to hurt Jeremiah.)
- Jeremiah's Reaction
- Read Jeremiah 20:7-8. How do you feel when people make fun
of you? When they insult you? Imagine that people did not
respect you, but instead daily ridiculed you. What kind of
attitude about life would you have, especially if the
ridicule was constant?
- Read Jeremiah 1:6-8. Recall this exchange between God
and Jeremiah at the very beginning? What does
Jeremiah mean when he says that God "deceived" him?
(God told Jeremiah not to be afraid, that God would
- Has God deceived Jeremiah?
- If you say, "yes," (or "maybe"), what does this
suggest about Jeremiah's confidence in the main
message he brings to Judah?
- Read Jeremiah 20:9. Jeremiah has apparently tried to keep
his mouth shut to avoid further abuse. Why is that a
problem? (Doing God's will is like a fire in him. He
cannot hold God's fire inside.)
- Have you experienced that? Doing God's will seems so
natural that you cannot refrain from doing it?
- Read Jeremiah 20:10. Is it just Jeremiah's enemies who are
making fun of him and opposing him? (Jeremiah writes "all
my friends" are waiting for him to make a mistake.)
- Notice the friends are hoping that Jeremiah will be
"deceived." Didn't Jeremiah just say ( Jeremiah 20:7)
that he was deceived?
- Does this mean that Jeremiah believes his
"friends" (who are really his enemies) will
- Read Jeremiah 20:11. How do you explain this confident
statement in light of Jeremiah 20:7? (Jeremiah is human.
He was beaten. He has been insulted and embarrassed. His
faith wavered when bad things happened that he thought God
would prevent. But now his faith strengthens.)
- How is the dishonor being heaped on Jeremiah
different than the dishonor that will be experienced
by his enemies? (His is temporary. Their dishonor
"will never be forgotten.")
- What lesson is there in this for us? (We should
always take the "long view" in life. Things
might not be going well for us at the moment,
but God has promised to make everything right
in the end.)
- Read Jeremiah 20:12. Will it make us feel better to know
that the end for those who persecute us will not be good?
(Read Luke 23:34 and Mark 11:25. Jeremiah may feel better
asking for vengeance, but this is not the attitude to
which God calls us.)
- Read Jeremiah 20:14-15 and Jeremiah 20:18. Is Jeremiah
falling back into depression after his glorious statement
of faith in Jeremiah 20:11? (Yes, now he says that he
wishes he had never been born.)
- Read Jeremiah 1:4-5. God says that He knew Jeremiah
"in the womb" and Jeremiah says he wishes he had died
in the womb, rather than living the life of a
prophet. What is the lesson for us? (Jeremiah sounds
like he is deeply depressed. God's servants may
experience times when they are depressed. If you
contemplate this, you may recall that Solomon was
depressed (Ecclesiastes 6 & 9), Elijah was afraid and
depressed (1 Kings 19), and David was afraid (1
Samuel 21:12-13). God reveals this to us so that we
will not think that we are the only ones to go
through this kind of experience.)
- Read Jeremiah 21:1-2. Wait a minute! Who is now asking for
advice? (King Zedekiah! Jeremiah is now being asked to
inquire of God by the highest official of his country.)
- When you feel discouraged and afraid, how does it
feel to have a very important person seek your help?
- Our Choice
- Read Jeremiah 18:1-5. Why does God tell Jeremiah that He
will get the next message down at the potter's workshop?
(Once again, this is a visual aid to help understand God's
- Read Jeremiah 18:6-10. What is the lesson for our
understanding of prophecy? (We have a role to play in our
future. Because God knows the future, I'm sure that some
prophecy reflects God's knowledge of the future and is not
conditional. On the other hand, God tells Jeremiah humans
can change what God announces by their behavior. At least
some prophecy is conditional.)
- Friend, do you sometimes feel discouraged? If things are
going poorly because of your own bad choices, God tells us
that our future can improve if we follow His will. If
things are going poorly because you have been following
God's will, and evil people are harming you, God says that
He will take care of the problem and He will make it right
in the future. The consistent theme is to follow God's
will. Will you decide, right now, to do that?
- Next week: Symbolic Acts.
* Copr. 2015, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.