In the days of Jeremiah the Prophet, God’s people had forsaken God. They had corrupt leadership in the nation and had failed to obey God when it came to religion.
By inspiration the prophet wrote, "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water" (Jeremiah 2:13).
Many may not even know what a cistern is. It is a device for storing water. Cisterns, belonging to the common natives, are rarely cleansed, and the inevitable scum which collects is dispersed by plunging the pitcher several times before drawing water.
When the water is considered to be bad, a somewhat primitive cure is applied by dropping earth into the cistern, so as to sink all impurities with it, to the bottom.
This helps one to understand what is being said in Jeremiah 2:13. The people had left the sweet life giving water (God’s love and care) and turned to broken cisterns (trusting in other gods which were no gods). It seems strange that these people would do this, but they had gotten busy with life and had forgotten who had blessed them with what they had. Their fathers had seen the power of God many times. They had witnessed his love and his wrath. The generation of Jeremiah’s day should have paid attention to the prophet, but they chose not to do so.
Today, there are those who make the same choice to forsake the living water to drink of the putrid, pungent, poison of sin. Satan makes the things of this life look so great and refreshing. Christians are tempted to drink long and full from Satan’s dipper, yet their thirst is never satisfied. Those of the world may know of God, but see the "pleasures of sin" as the way they want to live their lives. Temptations abound to keep people from seeking to serve God.
It has been said many times of Israel, "How could they turn their backs on God after he had provided them with so much?" This same question needs to be asked today. God has given so many great and wonderful things to mankind. His giving of his Son to die for our sins ranks as the greatest of all blessings. He has also given mankind the written word so that man can know how to please their creator, and to know of his love.
He gave the church so that man could have fellowship with him and with other Christians. In the body (the church Colossians 1:18) one finds support and help as they go through life.
God has blessed mankind with great physical blessings. He created a world ready for man to inhabit and to control (Genesis 1, 2). He also blessed mankind with the institution of marriage and the home. As God was finishing the days of creation, he stated that it was not good for man to be alone there was nothing fit for man. So Eve was given to Adam and the home had its beginning. To that union children, another of God’s blessings to man, were given.
So God has given spiritual blessings through Christ that souls can know peace and heavenly reward. He has given physical blessing so that man can have companionship in life.
Some forsake the flowing fountain to partake of the murky water of the cistern. Countless millions refuse to believe in God at all. They chose to trust in man’s explanations of creation and existence rather than to trust in God. That mistake should not be made.
Dear reader, study God’s word and obey it, that you may also partake of the living water.