Growing up, my grandparents owned a little get-away place in Wisconsin. Their property had all kinds of fun and whimsical yard decorations that they had collected from auctions and yard sales. Some of them were old road signs, there was full-size functioning windmill, old mailboxes and a parking meter just to name a few. There also was wishing well they designed for decorating purposes.
If you can imagine the fun us kids had using these props in our playtime. We would especially love playing by the wishing well. It was a life-size well, like something you’d see in a photograph. It consisted of rocks in a circular pattern that had a v-shaped roof. It also included a bucket attached to a crank with a rope. Now how fun is that?
Us kids would occasionally throw pennies into the well and make wishes. Also in our play, we would pretend to draw up water out of the well to use for pretend drinking and other uses. It’s amazing all the fun kids can have with a little creative imagination.
I was just thinking about that well the other day as I read the passage in Jeremiah 2:13…”My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”
Jeremiah’s was a prophet who was sent to warn the Israelite’s to turn from their idols (broken cisterns) to the living water (God). We do the same thing today. We make man-made idols by putting our faith in things or other people to fulfill us. God is the only source of living water that can truly satisfy us.
Just as that fake well could hold no water, this verse reminds me that anytime we try to fill a void in our lives with anything other than Jesus, we are in essence doing the same thing. Living water cannot be drawn from a broken or fake cisterns.
Anytime we try to find fulfillment in careers, things, or even people, we are in essence, drawing from broken cisterns. These things can be good things in and of themselves, but when we make them the ultimate things, they can only bring temporary satisfaction and will always keep us always thirsting for more.
I think this is a sin problem that we all struggle with from time to time. We try to fulfill our God-given longings with things that only Jesus himself can fulfill. Often times can we do this in less subtle ways. For instance, by choosing worry versus praying or by relying on people to fix your problems rather than giving them directly to God. Or we may even find ourselves trapped by addictions that suck the life out of us instead of being set free by the one who promises to give us new life.
Broken cisterns will only bring temporary satisfaction and will always leave us longing for more and never bring the true satisfaction that we find in an abiding relationship with Jesus. God is the only one who can bring that lasting satisfaction that our thirsty soul desires. Jesus is described as the Living Water. His Holy Spirit living in us is what teaches us through His Word how to walk in the Spirit and live for Him. He is the Living water that flows from within us when we abide in relationship with Him.
In John 7:38 Jesus said…”If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'”
If you’ve ever been super thirsty and dehydrated, you know what drinking a nice ice-cold glass of refreshing water is like. It’s life-giving. This is what the Holy Spirit does to us through God’s Word. He fills us, replenish us, it refreshes us and it satisfies us. We must continually drink from the fountain of life to find the lasting fulfillment of God.
When we put our hope in broken cisterns and make wishes, it’s like wishing for empty promises. Wishes leave us wanting or desiring a certain outcome instead of putting our trust in the only One who can truly satisfy. Jesus is the ultimate source of Living Water that our thirsty soul desires. God wants our highest adoration for Him and Him alone. He want’s to be number one in our lives and out of the flow of that abiding relationship with Him, where we daily drink in his Word, we will draw up Living Water that will then overflow in us and to the lives of those around us.
Thank you Father God for your living Word. Forgive us for when we try to find fulfillment in things other than you. If need be, set us free from the things that bind us to broken cisterns. Help us to daily drink of your Living Water that we may be refreshed and renewed and filled with your Holy Spirit. Thank you for who you are and for all you do for us. To you be the glory both now and forever. AMEN