Memory Text: “He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?” (Jeremiah 22:16, NIV).
Read for This Week’s Study: 2 Chronicles 34, Jer. 22:1–19, 29:1–14, 2 Chron. 36:11–14, Jer. 23:2–8.
Famed Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky spent four years in a Siberian prison in the 1800s for subversive political activities. Later, writing about his experiences, he talked about some of his fellow prisoners’ utter lack of remorse for their terrible behavior. “In the course of several years, I never saw a sign of repentance among these people; not a trace of despondent brooding over their crimes, and the majority of them inwardly considered themselves absolutely in the right.”—Joseph Frank, Dostoevsky, The Years of Ordeal, 1850–1859 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1990), p. 95.
Dostoevsky could have been talking about, with the exception of Josiah, the five kings who ruled Judah during the ministry of Jeremiah. One after another, these men seemed totally unrepentant for their actions, even as it became clearer and clearer that their actions were bringing the calamities that the Lord, through Jeremiah, had warned would come.
It had never been God’s intention to give Israel a king; by the end of this week’s lesson, we will better understand why. We’ll understand, too, the severe pressure that poor Jeremiah faced during much of his unappreciated ministry.
* Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, October 17.
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 3 – The Last Five Kings of Israel