Plans and Projects for Reading Jeremiah

Men who are committed to expositing the word of God have a duty to study the whole of Scripture.

Maybe one of the most relevant books of the Bible for our time and our nation is the book of Jeremiah. He is sometimes called the “weeping prophet” because of the agony he experiences over his nation’s apostasy and the tears he shed on their behalf. Preachers can learn a lot from Jeremiah about living faithfully in decadent and lawless times like ours. But his book is large and many are intimidated about the complexity and length of his ministry and the obtuseness of his time compared to ours. So, in the interest of giving some help to pastors who might be bold enough to attempt it . . . here are eleven projects or plans that a faithful expositor of God’s word might begin to work through 6 months or more BEFORE preaching his first sermon series on the book.

The idea is to gain a good sense and feel for the flow of the narrative and teaching of the book as a whole so that you can preach from individual passages and chapters with a good sense of the context so as to ensure that you are preaching God’s authoritative word and not just your own opinions. There is no substitute for immersion in a book if you want BOTH understanding and passion in the pulpit.

Plans and Projects for Multiple Readings of Jeremiah

  1. Read Jeremiah in one day. Chapters 1-28 in the morning and 29-52 in the evening.
  2. Read Jeremiah twice in one week, once in a translation like the ESV, NIV or NASB and once in a translation like the Living Bible, the Message, or the New Living Bible.
  3. Read Jeremiah to locate all the interactions that Jeremiah has face-to-face with kings (both Jewish and non-Jewish). Note them in a chart of some kind.
  4. Read Jeremiah and record all of the passages where he is praying. Study his prayers. What do you learn?
  5. Read the book and find all of the interactions with Baruch. Summarize your findings around the concept of “character achievements and failings”.
  6. Read the book three times in a month.
  7. Look up all of the kings that Jeremiah has to contend with and read their biographies in a good Bible Dictionary.
  8. Locate all of the parables, metaphors and similes that Jeremiah employs. Make a chart of all that you find, noting the passage and the major point of each one.
  9. Make a list of every person named in the book. How many males and females; note their positions or titles. Try to find out what is known about any of them from extra-biblical sources (Inscriptions, other histories etc.). Begin to pray that more artifacts and mentions will be discovered in the next decade.
  10. Study the names of God that include the word “host” (four different names). What do these names tell us about God and Jeremiah’s view of God?
  11. Study the phrase “word of the Lord” in the book. How would you summarize Jeremiah’s view of God’s word to him for the nation?

© 2022, Marty Schoenleber, Jr.

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