Jeremiah made the following statement: “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” (Jer. 2:13).
Today’s generation may not even know what a cistern is. It was a device for storing water. Arch. C. Dickie in an article for International Standard Bible Encyclopedia wrote the following concerning cisterns: “In the case of private cisterns, it is the custom of the country today to close up the inlets during the early days of the rain, so as to permit of a general wash down of gathering surfaces, before admitting the 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.
“The accumulation often found in ancient cisterns probably owes some of its presence to this same habit (ISBE p.658). 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 had turned to broken cisterns (trusting in other gods which were no gods cf. v11, 12).”
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 of Satan’s dipper, yet their thirst is never satisfied.
Anyone who has done much study in Hebrew history has probably said, “How could they turn their backs on God after he had provided them with so much?” This same question needs to be asked about the children of God today. God has given man so many great and wonderful things.
God giving his Son to die for man’s sins ranks as the greatest of all blessings. He has also given mankind the written word so one can know how to please God, and to know of his love. He established the church so Christians could have fellowship with him. In the body one can find support and help as they travel through this life.
Yet still some would 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.
Others fail to see the importance of the church that Jesus built (Matt. 16:18). They drink of the cistern of vain teaching (Matt. 15:9), choosing to follow men rather than to study God’s word for themselves and to become children of God according to God’s plan.
The blessing of the home has been destroyed many times by those who would drink long and deep from the broken cistern filled with fornication and adultery. The children conceived in love many times are hurt the most by the filthy water from a broken cistern.
God wants man to never “drink” from a cistern, broken or otherwise. He has provided the life-giving stream, the water of life, Christ Jesus. If man will follow Christ, walking in his steps, this life can be great.
Homes can be the place of love, safety and protection that God has intended. One’s walk from this life to the next can be made easier by trusting in God and being helped by fellow Christians.