Week 41 Bible Study Notes
Simplifying Bible Study
- Is there anything in this passage that teaches me about…
- God the Father?
- God the Son?
- God the Holy Spirit?
- Is there anything in this passage that teaches me something about myself? Is there…
- A sin that I need to avoid?
- A promise that I should accept?
- A command that I need to obey?
- Is there anything in this passage that teaches me about…
A summary of the last few years of Judah prior to exile:
- 627-586; Jeremiah prophesied to Judah in Jerusalem. He was eyewitness to these events as they unfolded. Try then to imagine the personal and relevant nature of his prophecies in light of this. He had a front row seat to all God had been warning about for centuries.
- 609; Josiah dies in battle. Eliakim (renamed Jehoiakim by Neco II) begins to reign in his place over Judah in Jerusalem.
- 609-598; Jehoiakim reigns in Judah under the control of Egypt/Pharaoh Neco II (609-605) then Babylon/Nebuchadnezzar (605-598).
- 605; Nebuchadnezzar invades Jerusalem and deports some Jews to Babylon including Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
- 598~597 Jehoiachin reigns briefly over Judah in Jerusalem.
- 597; Nebuchadnezzar invades Jerusalem a second time. Jehoiachin surrenders, and Nebuchadnezzar sends him and about 18,000 of the best and brightest Jews to Babylon. He appoints Zedekiah (Mattaniah) as King of Judah in Jerusalem.
- 589; Zedekiah allies with Egypt and rebels against Babylon.
- 587/586; Nebuchadnezzar conquers Jerusalem, destroys the temple and the city walls, and deports thousands of Jews to Babylon.
Jeremiah 27-29, 24, 37, 21, 34, 30-33, 38-39, 52
- Skipping Around: Jeremiah has many time markers in it, and with some work, we can sort out a chronology! Look for phrases like, “in the _th year of ___.”
- The New Covenant: Jeremiah 31:27-34 is a key passage for understanding the nature of the New Covenant that Jesus brought. Everyone in this new covenant would be in relationship to the Lord. Jeremiah 31:34, Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25. This is part of the argument against infant baptism. Some proponents of infant baptism declare that baptism is a sign of the New Covenant, replacing circumcision as a sign of the Old Covenant. But the New Covenant is clearly different.
- Whereas the Old Covenant was with the ethnic nation of Israel collectively, the New Covenant is individualistic in nature – for anyone who believes. See Jeremiah 31:29-30.
- In the Old Covenant, individual sins brought wrath upon the community – think of the sin of Achan (Joshua 7). In the New Covenant, while sins in the church clearly affect the congregation, it does not bring guilt upon others in the church who did not have a part in it – like Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5).
- So in the Old Covenant, all in the household were to be circumcised because all in the household were part of the covenant, Genesis 17:10; Leviticus 12:3; Romans 4:11; Luke 2:21. However in the book of Acts, we see only those who believe being baptized. In a couple of instances, the entire household is baptized, but those passages do not indicate that infants were baptized. The teaching of the church was that baptism should accompany faith and repentance, Acts 2:38, 8:12, 22:16; Mark 16:16; Romans 6:1-11.
- See the Hebrews 7-12 for a deeper understanding of the advantages of the New Covenant.
2 Kings 24-25; 2 Chronicles 36
- The sad end of Judah. Consider now as you read the real cost of sin. Consider how decisions to be unfaithful God have consequences. This is God keeping his covenant with Israel. However, he will continue to speak with his people through the prophets, bring them back to the land, and bring forth Jesus Christ to fulfill all righteousness!
- Cyrus: 2 Chronicles 36:22-23 is echoed in Ezra 1:1-3. See also Isaiah 44:28-45:1, and note that Isaiah wrote it over 150 years before Cyrus was born.
- Desires/Passions: Notice at the root of sins are our own desires, James 1:13-15, and that is indeed the source for divisions in the church body, James 4:1-2. Being led by our ungodly desires is simply worldliness. We are called to be distinct from the world by humbly following God. This forms the basis for his advice in James 4:13-17. We should not regard our lives as our own by saying “we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and…” Rather, we should be seeking God’s will in everything – not just saying, “If the Lord wills…” but sincerely and humbly seeking His will. What if we made His passions our passions? 1 Peter 4:1-2.
- Prayer: Two reasons are given for unanswered prayer in James 4:2-3. They are a failure to ask, and to ask wrongly according to our own desires. Remember that Jesus promised to give whatever we ask in his name that means according to his will, and not according to our own selfish desires. James reminds us to pray for the sick, James 5:13-15, and pray for salvation. The emphasis in that passage is on salvation and forgiveness of sins, and secondarily on healing. He even tells us to confess our sins to one another and pray for one another. Why is the prayer of a “righteous person” that has great power? James 5:16.
- Riches: James 5:1-6. We should guard against an unnecessary hoarding of treasure in these days. Christians are commanded to be generous, and the early church shows us the example of giving to all as anyone has need. Jesus has promised to meet our needs if we seek His Kingdom first, Matthew 6:33.
- Patience and steadfastness: James is writing to people that are in difficulty. His final exhortations are to stay patient and steadfast in the midst of it. He uses the examples of the prophets who were usually rejected and of Job who went through the worst of losses, and yet never cursed God. There is a promise of blessing here just as Job was blessed. James 5:10-11
1 Peter 1-3
- Suffering: 1 Peter 1:6-7 shows that Peter is writing to those who are suffering for their faith. But he is careful to make a distinction that we should not suffer for doing wrong, but only for doing right. There is no value in suffering for having done wrong. 1 Peter 2:16-25.
- Encouragement: 1 Peter 1:3-5 show that it is God who “caused us to be born again,” keeps our inheritance in heaven and guards us through faith for the completion of our salvation. Notice Peter’s encouragement come from what God has done and not what we must do or have done for our salvation. He instructs us to “set hope fully on the grace that will be brought to .”
- Holiness: In light of what God has done for us, we then should live dedicated to him and his purposes by obeying Him. 1 Peter 1:13-2:3.
- “But you are”: In contrast to the world, we are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession.” We have been saved to “proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Peter argues from what God has done, and the identity that He has given us toward the proper behavior of His people. Have you noticed how many religions teach us to do this or that and through that become something?
Psalm 79 and Psalm 126.
 Begg, Alistair, Pastor. “Do What it Says! (Part 2 of 2).” Truth for Life Daily Program, 30 September, 2021.