For Young People

Stand Up for Your Convictions!

Instructions: Do this exercise in quiet surroundings. As you read the scriptures, imagine that you are part of the event. Visualize the scene. Hear the voices. Feel the emotions of the characters. Let the account come to life.

Main characters: Jeremiah, Ebed-melech, King Zedekiah

Summary: Jeremiah faces severe opposition when he proclaims God’s message that the people of Judah should surrender to the Chaldeans.

1 ANALYZE THE SCENE.​—READ JEREMIAH 38:1-5.

How do you think Jeremiah felt as he spoke to the people of Judah?

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What emotion do you sense in Jeremiah’s voice as he proclaimed Jehovah’s warning?

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DIG DEEPER.

What convictions must Jeremiah have had that enabled him to make such a bold proclamation?

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2 ANALYZE THE SCENE.​—READ JEREMIAH 38:6-13.

Using your imagination, describe the cistern​—its width, depth, and odor.

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What thoughts might Jeremiah have had when he “began to sink down into the mire”? (Reread verse 6.)

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DIG DEEPER.

Using research materials at your disposal, find out something you did not previously know about the cisterns used in Bible times.

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 What conviction must Ebed-melech have had to initiate the rescue of Jeremiah? (Reread verses 7-9.)

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Why was Zedekiah so easily influenced, first by the princes and later by Ebed-melech? (Reread verses 5 and 10.) What does this say about his strength of character? his lack of conviction?

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Which individuals in this story displayed strong conviction, and which one did not? Why do you so answer?

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3 APPLY WHAT YOU LEARNED. WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU LEARNED ABOUT . . .

Courage.

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Conviction.

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Jehovah’s protection for those who fearlessly obey him.

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When under pressure, how can having conviction affect your ability to do what is right?

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4 WHAT ASPECT OF THIS ACCOUNT IS MOST MEANINGFUL TO YOU, AND WHY?

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IF YOU DON’T HAVE A BIBLE, ASK JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES FOR ONE, OR READ IT ONLINE AT www.watchtower.org