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Cracked Christians

For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewed themselves cisterns – broken cisterns, that can hold no water.  Jeremiah 2:13 (NKJV)

Yesterday evening I watched a French drama entitled Jean de Florette, which is set in the rustic environment of Provence in the 1920s.  It starts with the enterprising Ugolin returning to his native countryside after serving in the military.  Intent on a lucrative business of growing carnations, he conspires with his uncle Cesar to gain access to a hidden spring on a neighbouring property.  When their initial attempt to buy land fails, they contend with Jean de Florette, who arrives with his family to work the coveted plot and turn it into a profitable farm.  Relying on cisterns, the family soon run out of water and watch their crops fail.  All the time a wonderful secret spring of fresh water was there for them.

Jeremiah used the imagery of a cistern and spring in chapter two.  In Bible lands, a cistern was an artificial reservoir which was dug in the earth or hewn in the rock for the collection and storage of water.  But the cisterns would often develop leaks and dry up.  It didn’t make sense for people to depend on old, broken cisterns when right beside their cistern there was a continuous spring of living water.  This was a picture of the people of Israel.  They laughed at Jeremiah’s metaphor, but in reality they were laughing at themselves because they had rejected the true God who was called “the spring of living water”.  Imagine yourself as a very thirsty person in a parched land, turning away from a bubbling spring of cool water to hack out a cistern in the dirt, under the parched sun, in the hopes of collecting some rainwater!  Why would anyone place their trust in the unstable, unfulfilling cisterns of earth when they can place their trust in a stable, satisfying God?  Seems like such a no-brainer – yet don’t you and I sometimes fall into that trap?  We dig our own cisterns – broken cisterns – and expect them to satisfy our thirst and bring us contentment.  We drink from the broken cisterns of materialism, position, wealth, popularity, etc…

Jesus said… “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.  Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  The woman said to him. “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.”  John 4:13-15 (JBP)

In John 7 we are told, Jesus Christ the Living Water stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink.  Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”  This was such an important invitation, Jesus said it in a loud voice.  Did you catch that?  Do you hear it in your heart right now?  Come to Him and drink.

As the deer pants for streams of water,
so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God,
for the living God.  Psalm 42:1-2 (NIV)