The prophet Jeremiah had a message for God’s people that we in America would do well to heed today. He wrote, “I will take you to court and accuse you and your descendants of a crime that no nation has ever committed before. Just ask anyone, anywhere, from the eastern deserts to the islands in the west. You will find that no nation as ever abandoned its gods even though they were false. I am the true and glorious God, but you have rejected me to worship idols. Tell the heavens to tremble with fear! You, my people, have sinned in two ways __you have rejected me, the source of life-giving water, and you’ve tried to collect water in cracked and leaking pits dug in the ground.” (Jeremiah 2:9-13, The Promise: Contemporary English Version)
It is difficult for us to fully understand this passage because we have such easy access to water. For the people of Jeremiah’s day it was not so. They tried to capture all of the water that they could when it did rain. They dug large cisterns to catch the run-off when rains did come. This was a source of life for them during the long stretches between rains. When a cistern leaked it presented a major problem.
God used this clear picture to give His people a message through Jeremiah. God accused them of rejecting the cistern of life-giving water that He provided and of digging cisterns of their own. The problem with their cisterns was that they leaked. The point of all of this is that only God can truly meet the inner needs of individuals. He holds the secret to the genuinely filled life that men and women seek. When people create their own substitutes for God and attempt to fill this need with things of their own making, they discover it is not enough to meet the need that exists. In review, God provides life-giving waters from a cistern that never leaks, while man digs his own cisterns and they always leak and fail to provide the life-giving enter peace that man desires.
Here lies the core problem with society in America today. We have fallen into the trap of placing our hopes for the good life in leaky cisterns. We have been lead to believe that peace, joy and abundance comes from possessions, power, prestige and pleasure. We have been lead to believe that protecting our rights is more important that fulfilling our responsibilities. Many sacrifice everything to achieve these things, only to discover that they may bring physical comfort but they do not fill the inner need that only God can fill.
It is time for the message to be heralded across the land that we were created by God to fellowship with God and nothing else but that fellowship will provide leak proof cisterns in our life. Nothing else will fill the emptiness that comes from rejecting the life-giving God and replacing Him with substitutes of our own making.