TO CHEW ON: "For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters and hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water." Jeremiah 2:13
This passage speaks of where we find our satisfaction. Actually it's more than satisfaction because it speaks of finding water. That's something we not only like to drink but we must have for life. While a human body can survive up to five weeks without food, it can only survive days (three to four) without water.
Given a choice, wouldn't we rather drink water from a sparkling fountain that flows fresh and in an endless supply than from a cistern? Such man-made water storage systems contain water that is stagnant. Over time the water is used up and needs to be replenished.
Here Jeremiah contrasts the two water sources as a way to describe where the people are getting their spiritual needs met. His word picture prompts me to ask, where do I go to get my spiritual needs met? To cisterns of my own making?
Is my work a cistern? Is my family? Are my friendships?
Perhaps one way to find out is by taking all the stuff that fills us up—the ability to work and find pleasure in it, our enjoyment of relationships, the pleasures of the sensory world—and imagining them absent. Would we still have something?
And how do we keep the good, legitimate things in life from becoming cisterns? Perhaps one way is to drink long and deep from the living water at the beginning of each day. Then with our bellies full we won't be craving the other kind.
PRAYER: Dear God, I think of all the things I enjoy -- potential cisterns. Help me to make them secondary to finding my most vital satisfaction in You. May my satisfaction from the living fountain make the enjoyment of everyday things keener. Amen.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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