It was against this background that the young Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry. “The word of the Lord” came to him, and he spoke it in hopes that the people, if they would heed these words, would be spared the ruin that otherwise was sure to come. Read Jeremiah 2:1–28 and answer the following questions: What promises had God made to the nation when they were faithful? (See vss. 2, 3.)
What were some of the priests, pastors, and prophets doing that was sinful? (See vs. 8.)
In what terrible ways were the people self-deceived in regard to their true spiritual condition? (See vss. 23, 24.)
Even though the nation had experienced some spiritual reform under the leadership of Hezekiah and Josiah, the people reverted to their old ways and fell into worse apostasy. As he did all through his ministry, Jeremiah here spoke in no uncertain terms about what was going on. Particularly interesting are his words in Jeremiah 2:13.
The people had committed two evils: they forsook the Lord, the fountain of living waters, and as a result, hewed out for themselves broken cisterns that, of course, could not hold any water at all. In other words, having abandoned the Lord, they had lost everything. These words become even more meaningful in light of what Jesus said in John 4:10.
In Jeremiah 2:5, the Lord said that the people had gone after “worthlessness,” and as a result they had become “worthless” (ESV).
The Hebrew words for both terms come from the same Hebrew word (hbl) that is often translated “vanity.” It also means “a vapor” or “breath.” How does going after worthless things make us “worthless”? What does that mean? How does this concept help us to understand those who, at times, feel as if their lives are meaningless or worthless? What is the answer for them?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 2 – The Crisis (Within and Without)