Unit 27: Day 2, Jeremiah 1–6
    Footnotes
    Theme

    “Unit 27: Day 2, Jeremiah 1–6,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)

    “Unit 27: Day 2,” Old Testament Study Guide

    Unit 27: Day 2

    Jeremiah 1–6

    Introduction

    During the reign of King Josiah, God called Jeremiah, explaining that he was foreordained to be a prophet to the nations and to preach repentance to the Southern Kingdom of Judah. The people had forsaken Jehovah and were worshipping other gods. Jeremiah prophesied that the people of Judah would suffer at the hands of an opposing nation as a punishment for their sins.

    Jeremiah 1

    God calls Jeremiah as a prophet to preach repentance to the Southern Kingdom of Judah

    Jeremiah preaching

    Have you ever wondered whether there are specific things you are meant to accomplish during your life?

    God revealed to Jeremiah truths about his mission on the earth during his mortal life. As you study Jeremiah 1, look for truths that can help you understand the purpose of your life on earth.

    In Jeremiah 1:1–3 we learn that in the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah, who ruled over the Southern Kingdom of Judah, Jeremiah received a revelation from the Lord. Read Jeremiah 1:4–5, looking for what Jeremiah learned about his relationship with God. (Jeremiah 1:4–5 is a scripture mastery passage. You may want to mark it in a distinctive way so you can easily locate it in the future.)

    From the fact that God knew Jeremiah before he was born, we learn that before we were born, our Heavenly Father knew us and we existed as His spirit children.

    What comfort have you gained from the truth that before you were born, Heavenly Father knew you and you knew Him?

    According to Jeremiah 1:5, when did God appoint Jeremiah to be a prophet?

    Jeremiah’s experience of being ordained before he was born is known as foreordination. To better understand what foreordination means, read the following statement:

    “In the premortal spirit world, God appointed certain spirits to fulfill specific missions during their mortal lives. This is called foreordination.

    “Foreordination does not guarantee that individuals will receive certain callings or responsibilities. Such opportunities come in this life as a result of the righteous exercise of agency, just as foreordination came as a result of righteousness in the premortal existence. …

    “The doctrine of foreordination applies to all members of the Church, not just to the Savior and His prophets. Before the creation of the earth, faithful women were given certain responsibilities and faithful men were foreordained to certain priesthood duties. Although you do not remember that time, you surely agreed to fulfill significant tasks in the service of your Father. As you prove yourself worthy, you will be given opportunities to fulfill the assignments you then received” (True to the Faith: A Gospel Reference [2004], 69–70).

    Based on what you have learned about foreordination, complete the following statement: Before we were born, we were given .

    scripture mastery icon
    Scripture Mastery—Jeremiah 1:4–5

    1. journal icon
      In your scripture study journal, list the following:

      1. Responsibilities or duties someone may have been foreordained to do other than being a prophet.

      2. Ways we can identify the specific duties or responsibilities we are to perform during mortality.

    One way to identify what you were foreordained to do is by receiving and studying your patriarchal blessing.

    1. journal icon
      Choose one of the following activities, and write your response in your scripture study journal:

      1. If you have received your patriarchal blessing, describe some of your thoughts and feelings as you received it. Remember to not share anything too personal or sacred.

      2. If you have not yet received your patriarchal blessing, talk to a parent, a leader, or your bishop about timing, readiness, and the process that will allow you to receive it. What do you need to do? How can you prepare to receive it? Write about whom you talked to and what you learned.

    Read Jeremiah 1:6, looking for how Jeremiah responded when he learned the Lord had foreordained him to be a prophet.

    Read Jeremiah 1:7–9, looking for how God promised to help Jeremiah. You may want to mark the Lord’s promises. Which specific promises do you think might have been most comforting for Jeremiah to hear?

    According to verse 9, how did the Lord help Jeremiah overcome his concerns about speaking?

    Finish the following truth using what you have learned from Jeremiah’s experience: When the Lord calls us to do His work, .

    What are some examples of the work the Lord has called us to do?

    1. journal icon
      When has God helped you do the work He has called you to do? Write about your experience in your scripture study journal.

    In Jeremiah 1:10 the Lord told Jeremiah that his particular mission as a prophet would be to prophesy to the world about which nations would be rooted out, pulled down, and destroyed and which nations would be built up and planted.

    In Jeremiah 1:11–16 the Lord told Jeremiah that a nation would come from the north and inflict judgments on the people of Judah as a consequence of their wickedness. Imagine how you would feel if this was the message God wanted you to give to your people. Read Jeremiah 1:17–19, looking for additional ways God promised to help Jeremiah. You may want to mark what you find.

    Jeremiah 2–3

    God declares the wickedness of the people of Judah and Israel

    Look at the diagram “The Kingdoms of Israel and Judah at a Glance,” found in the lesson for 1 and 2 Chronicles (in the Unit 21: Day 1 lesson), and find the information about Jeremiah on it. Notice who else was preaching around the same time as Jeremiah.

    Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, and Lehi (see 1 Nephi 1:11–13, 18–20) were some of the prophets who were commanded to warn the Jews to repent of their wickedness or they would be conquered by another nation. In Jeremiah 2:1–12 we read that God declared through Jeremiah that His people had loved Him when He delivered them out of Egypt and gave them a promised land. Now, however, the people had gone astray by worshipping idols and had defiled the land.

    broken cistern

    The Lord then taught about the people’s spiritual condition using the image of a water container.

    In Jeremiah 2:13 we read that God referred to cisterns, large containers that hold water, as He taught Jeremiah about the people’s weakened spiritual condition. Read this verse, looking for the two evils the people had committed.

    Read John 4:14, and ponder how Jesus Christ is like a “fountain of living waters” (Jeremiah 2:13). Jehovah has the power to give, sustain, and save life, both temporal and spiritual. The broken cisterns represented the false gods the Israelites had chosen to worship instead of God.

    What did Jehovah teach about false gods by comparing them to broken cisterns that cannot hold water?

    From Jeremiah 2:1–13 we learn that only the Lord can save us and fulfill our needs and desires. This truth is further illustrated in Jeremiah 2:14–3:5, where we learn that the Lord warned that the people’s wickedness would bring them great sorrow and that the false gods they had chosen would not save or help them (see Jeremiah 2:27–28).

    In Jeremiah 3:6–11 we read that God compared the kingdoms of Israel and Judah to two sisters. One sister (Judah) watched the other sister (Israel) refuse to listen to the prophets and saw her ultimately reject God. As a result, the Lord gave Israel “a bill of divorce” (Jeremiah 3:8), meaning He withdrew His protection. (In the century before Jeremiah was born, the Southern Kingdom of Judah witnessed the Assyrian destruction of the Northern Kingdom of Israel.)

    Read Jeremiah 3:10, looking for how the Lord described what Judah did after she saw the destruction of Israel.

    The word feignedly means deceitfully or insincerely. In other words, the people of Judah were turning to the Lord deceitfully and not with their whole hearts.

    Read Jeremiah 3:12–13, 22, looking for what the Lord invited His people to do.

    What principle of the gospel involves returning to the Lord from a sinful condition?

    The word backsliding refers to reverting to faithlessness, sinfulness, or slothfulness. What principle can we learn from Jeremiah 3:22 about what the Lord promises to those who repent and come unto Him? Complete the following statement: If we repent and come unto the Lord with our whole hearts, He will .

    1. journal icon
      How do you think God heals us and helps us resist temptations to leave Him and revert to sinful attitudes and behaviors? Record your thoughts in your scripture study journal.

    As we turn to God with our whole hearts, He will help us to change and not repeat sins of the past. Take some time to consider sins in your life that you may need to be healed of. Remember that God will help you if you turn to Him.

    Jeremiah 4–6

    Judah will suffer at the hands of another nation for failing to repent

    Jeremiah 4–6 records that Jeremiah pled with the people to repent. He warned them about the consequences they would experience if they did not repent. Read the chapter headings for Jeremiah 5 and 6, as well as Jeremiah 5:25, looking for some of these consequences.

    Although God loves us and wants to spare us unnecessary pain, we bring pain upon ourselves when we sin. God allowed the Israelites to suffer the consequences of their wickedness (see Jeremiah 2:17; 4:18; and 7:19). However, He also promised that He would not allow the people to be completely destroyed (see Jeremiah 5:10, 18).

    1. journal icon
      Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:

      I have studied Jeremiah 1–6 and completed this lesson on (date).

      Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: