“Unit 27: Day 3, Jeremiah 7–29,” Old Testament Study Guide for Home-Study Seminary Students (2014)
“Unit 27: Day 3,” Old Testament Study Guide
God commanded Jeremiah to warn the people of Jerusalem that if they did not repent, the city would be destroyed and they would be carried away captive. Jeremiah also prophesied that the day would come that all of the children of Israel would be gathered and again become God’s people.
Read each of the following statements carefully, and determine if the statement is true, partly true, or false. Record your answers in the spaces provided.
If I go to Church, pay my tithing, and participate in baptisms for the dead with my ward or branch, then I will be ready for the Savior’s Second Coming.
Partaking of the sacrament automatically cleanses me from sin each week.
Paying fast offerings helps those in need. Therefore, if I fast and I or my parents give an offering, I have fulfilled my responsibility to care for the poor and needy.
As you study Jeremiah 7–16, look for principles that can give greater insight into these statements.
Remember that God had called Jeremiah as a prophet to warn the people of Judah that unless they repented, they would be conquered by another nation (see Jeremiah 1–6). In Jeremiah 7:1–2, God commanded Jeremiah to stand at the gate of the temple and declare His message.
Read Jeremiah 7:3–11, and imagine Jeremiah delivering the Lord’s message to a multitude of people at the temple gate. Look for doctrines and principles in what Jeremiah taught the people. You may want to mark what you find.
When Jeremiah told the people to “amend your ways and your doing” (Jeremiah 7:3), he was inviting them to repent.
Many of the Jews in Jeremiah’s day behaved as though worshipping at the temple made them righteous, regardless of whatever else they did. Notice in Jeremiah 7:7 that the Lord promised the people that they could remain in the promised land if they would change their ways.
In Jeremiah 7:12–20 the Lord, through Jeremiah, reminded the people that the tabernacle in Shiloh had been destroyed and that the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel had been taken away captive. He then warned that the temple in Jerusalem would not protect the people of Judah from destruction if they did not repent.
The people were reminded about what Jehovah told their ancestors about burnt offerings when He led them out of Egypt. Read Jeremiah 7:22–23, looking for what the Lord said was more important than sacrificing burnt offerings. You may want to mark what you find.
One principle we can learn from Jeremiah 7 is that outward religious practices alone cannot save us if we do not keep God’s commandments.
- Answer the following question in your scripture study journal: What is the danger in believing that we can obey some of God’s commandments but willfully disobey others?
Look back at the statements at the beginning of this lesson. You can probably see that each of the statements could be only partly true. In each case, the outward observance of a commandment without an obedient heart is insufficient. For example, if a person sins throughout the week, does not repent, and then partakes of the sacrament on the Sabbath, he or she will not automatically receive forgiveness of those sins. Salvation comes through inward conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ, faith in the Savior’s Atonement, and sincerely striving to obey all of God’s commandments.
Read Jeremiah 7:24, 30–31, looking for several ways the people were choosing to disobey God’s commandments.
Read at least two of the following passages, looking for the consequences that Jeremiah prophesied would come to the people because they disobeyed the Lord:
From these passages, we can learn that if we refuse to walk in God’s ways, then we will bring serious consequences on ourselves.
Read Jeremiah 16:14–15, looking for what event people would witness in the latter days that would be as miraculous as the deliverance of the Israelites out of Egypt.
Bringing up the children of Israel from the north and from other lands means God will gather the scattered descendants of Israel back to the covenant of the gospel and to their promised lands of inheritance.
Read Jeremiah 16:16, looking for whom the Lord said He would use to help gather the house of Israel.
The words fishers and hunters in this verse refer to those who help gather Israel through missionary work. Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles explained how it can refer to us: “In many nations our missionaries have searched for those of scattered Israel; they have hunted for them ‘out of the holes of the rocks’; and they have fished for them as in ancient days [see Jeremiah 16:16]” (“The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2006, 81).
Not only will missionaries gather those of the house of Israel in the last days, but they will also gather the Gentiles. Read Jeremiah 16:21, looking for the outcome of this great missionary effort.
From this prophecy we can learn that as we labor diligently to share the gospel with others, we can help them come to know the power of the true and living God.
- Answer one or both of the following questions in your scripture study journal:
Think about the skills or characteristics that help fishers and hunters to be successful. How are the skills and characteristics needed to fish and hunt similar to the skills and characteristics we need to be successful in doing missionary work?
What is a recent opportunity you or someone you know has had to share the gospel with someone?
Consider setting a specific goal to share the gospel and your testimony of the Savior with others.
Think about some of the activities you participated in last Sunday. Which of them brought you closer to the Savior?
The Lord told Jeremiah to stand in each of the gates of Jerusalem and preach to the inhabitants of the city. In ancient times, the gates of a city were places where business was transacted and where laws were made and enforced.
Read Jeremiah 17:21–22, looking for what Jeremiah was commanded to tell the people in the gates of Jerusalem.
Read Jeremiah 17:24–26, looking for what would happen if the Jews kept the Sabbath day holy.
Based on these verses, complete the following principle to apply to us today: If we , then the Lord will preserve us and help us.
Read Jeremiah 17:27, looking for what would happen if the Jews continued to break the Sabbath.
As recorded in Jeremiah 18, God sent Jeremiah to a potter’s house. The Lord used the analogy of shaping a clay pot to teach Jeremiah that Israel could be reshaped if the people would repent.
As recorded in Jeremiah 19:1–9, God told Jeremiah to take a hardened clay pot to the valley of Hinnom, which was just outside of the walls of Jerusalem. In this valley was a place called Tophet, which means the place of burning. There some of the Israelites had built altars and sacrificed their children as burnt offerings to false gods.
Read Jeremiah 19:10–11, looking for what Jeremiah was told to do in this valley.
What do you think the Lord was trying to teach the Israelites by having Jeremiah break the clay pot?
Have you ever felt like others wanted you to change your standards or to stop talking about the gospel?
In Jeremiah 19:14–20:6 we learn that after Jeremiah preached in the valley of Hinnom, he declared his warnings in the court of the temple. Pashur, the chief governor of the house of the Lord, was angry with Jeremiah because of his message. Pashur smote Jeremiah and imprisoned him until the next day, but Jeremiah continued to warn about the Lord’s coming judgments.
Why did Jeremiah refuse to be silent even though at one time he wanted to stop declaring the Lord’s message?
What do you think it means that the Lord’s word was like “a burning fire shut up in [Jeremiah’s] bones” (Jeremiah 20:9)?
The following is one principle we can learn from Jeremiah’s example that can help us declare the gospel even when it is difficult: As our testimonies deepen, our desire to do God’s will increases.
- Consider people you know who feel God’s word like a fire in their bones. In your scripture study journal, write about how this fire or testimony manifests itself in the life of one of the people you thought of. Then answer the following question: What can you do to gain this kind of testimony?
As you act on the promptings of the Holy Ghost and seek to deepen your testimony, your desire and determination to follow Jesus Christ and to serve Heavenly Father will increase.
As recorded in Jeremiah 20–28, Jeremiah continued to preach to the people. He specifically warned them about teachers and false prophets who told the wicked what they wanted to hear.
During Jeremiah’s day, in about 606 B.C., a selected group of Jews were carried away captive to Babylon. Jeremiah 29 contains a letter Jeremiah later sent to those captives. In it he conveyed the Lord’s counsel to them to build homes, plant gardens, and raise their families in Babylon, where they would be in captivity for 70 years.
Read Jeremiah 29:10–14, looking for how the Lord would remember the people of Israel after 70 years of captivity. You may want to mark what you find.
- Write the following at the bottom of today’s assignments in your scripture study journal:
I have studied Jeremiah 7–29 and completed this lesson on (date).
Additional questions, thoughts, and insights I would like to share with my teacher: