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BROKEN CISTERNS

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BROKEN CISTERNS

Jeremiah 2:1–13 KJV 1900
Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying, Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the Lord; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of thine espousals, when thou wentest after me in the wilderness, in a land that was not sown. Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the firstfruits of his increase: all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them, saith the Lord. Hear ye the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel: Thus saith the Lord, What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain? Neither said they, Where is the Lord that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, that led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and of pits, through a land of drought, and of the shadow of death, through a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt? And I brought you into a plentiful country, to eat the fruit thereof and the goodness thereof; but when ye entered, ye defiled my land, and made mine heritage an abomination. The priests said not, Where is the Lord? and they that handle the law knew me not: the pastors also transgressed against me, and the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Wherefore I will yet plead with you, saith the Lord, and with your children’s children will I plead. For pass over the isles of Chittim, and see; and send unto Kedar, and consider diligently, and see if there be such a thing. Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit. Be astonished, O ye heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid, be ye very desolate, saith the Lord. 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.
Introduction: These verses describe every man’s sin: forsaking God and pursuing Satan.
Cisterns - A cistern is a waterproof receptacle for holding liquids, usually water. Cisterns are often built to catch and store rainwater.

He begins by recounting the faithfulness of the Israelites to God during their forty years in the wilderness after the Exodus.
But when God finally permitted the Israelites to enter the Promised Land, they became friendly with the local people and began to worship their gods. It all began innocently enough. They began to make friends with the Canaanites. Then they began to marry the Canaanites. Then they began to worship the Canaanite gods of wood and stone. And then God punished them for their faithlessness.
Jeremiah reminded them of God’s faithfulness. God said:
“I brought you into a plentiful land, to eat its fruit and its goodness; but when you entered, you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination” (2:7).
Then Jeremiah told them how foolish they had been. He said, “Has a nation changed its gods, which really are no gods?” (2:11).
He was telling them that the pagans were faithful to their gods, even though they were only chunks of stone or wood. But the Israelites, even though they have experienced God’s power and faithfulness, had abandoned him for these pieces of stone and wood. And so God says:
“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water” (2:13).
The Israelites lived in a dry land where every drop of water was precious. They knew what it was to dig cisterns to collect runoff, and they knew what it was to lift buckets of water from the cistern and carry them to their gardens. Every drop of water was precious.
God said, “They have forsaken me, the spring of living water”—the mountain spring that flows faithful and pure—the artesian well that provides abundant water. “They have forsaken me…, and cut cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
The problem that Jeremiah was addressing was idolatry—the chasing after false gods. Jeremiah called God’s people to return to the true God—and to abandon their idolatry.
When I read this scripture my first thought was, “What does this have to do with us today? We don’t worship gods of wood and stone” But then, as I thought about it, I realized that it has everything to do with us today. What is idolatry, after all, but putting something else in God’s place! Defined that way, we see idolatry all around us.
What are our idols? We might ask the question this way: What is more important to us than God. Those are our idols! They are many!

S.A.M.

Chaplain (Major General) Kermit Johnson, a former Army Chief of Chaplains used to warn chaplains about something that he called SAM. He told us that SAM was the destroyer. When a chaplain left the Army in disgrace, it was usually because of SAM. He could have said that SAM constitutes our idolatry. What is SAM? SAM stands for sex, alcohol and money.

THE FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATERS - JESUS CHRIST

A. No drought can lessen the abundant flow of living water.
B. No amount of drinking from the Fountain diminishes it; there is no water rationing.

MAN’S ISOLATION FROM THE FOUNTAIN

A. He has forsaken God - the eternal Fountain of living water.
B. He has dug himself broken cisterns that can hold no water. The broken cisterns consist of any objective, any pursuit, anything that occupies men and excludes God.

MAN’S INVITATION TO THE FOUNTAIN

A. The Lord calls all men to the Fountian.
Isaiah 55:1 KJV 1900
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, And he that hath no money; Come ye, buy, and eat; Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.
B. Jesus calls all men to the Fountain.
John 7:37–39 KJV 1900
In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
C. The Church calls all men to the Fountain.
Revelation 22:17 KJV 1900
And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
Conclusion:
Isaiah 12:3 KJV 1900
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.

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