Jeremiah 2:13 says, “for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water” (English Standard Version). God’s people had (once again) changed the gods they worshiped. Rather than worship the one true God, they had turned to pagan practices and false idols (Jeremiah 2:10-13). God’s response here is not pleasant: “my people have committed two evils”.
Number 1) They have forsaken me.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word forsaken like this: “to renounce or turn away from entirely”. Oh how guilty I am of forsaking the Lord.
Number 2) They have hewed out...broken cisterns that can hold no water.
A cistern is an underground tank for storing rainwater. However, God says the Israelites have hewn broken cisterns. So the water goes in, and leaks right now. It is never full. Oh how empty my cisterns are.
Only one cistern will hold water. And only one source will fill a cistern. First and foremost, I have to be certain that the cistern I’m trying to fill is directly from the Lord. This means that whatever it is I’m seeking satisfaction for is in line with His Will. This means seeking intimacy with Him above all else, because intimacy with Him is greater than any other thing this world has to offer.
Secondly, I have to be sure that the source I’m expecting to fill my cistern is God Himself, rather than all the things in this world that scream empty promises at me to fulfill me and satisfy me. They never will. I will always come away empty. I will always come away broken.
Friends, I know I’m not alone in this. And I want you to know that you are not alone in this. You are not the only one who keeps coming up empty. Let’s join together and pray confidently that God will preserve the cisterns He’s given us. Let’s challenge one another to run after His fullness above everything else that shouts our names.
In His Grip,