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Monday, July 25, 2016

Fountain of Living Water and Substitutes (Jeremiah 2:13)

"My people have committed two sins: They have forgotten me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water."

A spring produces water while a cistern (shallow man-made pit) gathers water. Instead of coming to the Living Water Israel dug gathering pits to catch water which quickly turned brackish and undrinkable. They chose broken wells (the worship of idols, inter-marriage with those around them, alliances with neighboring countries, etc.) over God -- wells which couldn't hold water over the Spring which offers an endless supply.

God defines sin as substituting anything for Himself. Adam and Eve chose human reason and logic over faith in God. Cain chose murder over coming to God His way-through the shedding of the blood of a substitute. The people of Babel created a system that excluded God-that was independent from God. Since the fall of Adam and Eve man enters this world thirsty and seeks to slake his spiritual thirst with substitutes-with anything but God.

How do we slake our thirsts? Do we come to the fountain and drink deeply or do we dig our own cisterns? What cisterns do we dig or use to collect the life sustaining water that we need? 
  • Relationships with other people
  • Possessions
  • Attainments
  • Career
  • Religion
  • Food
  • Experiences
  • Travel, etc.
God put a thirst for Living Water in the hearts of all men. Sin, however, leads man to slake his thirst from substitute sources. Recognizing our thirst is the first step and then analyzing how we seek to slake our thirsts is the second step. We must, finally, acknowledge the Lord Jesus as the Living Water who promises that "whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life" (John 4:14).

The Samaritan woman in John 4 came thirsty to a well that could only relieve her physical thirst temporarily. This "serial wife" had been through five husbands and was now living with a man. She had discovered that no man exists who could meet the deeper thirst of her life, the thirst quenched by an encounter with Jesus Christ. Many thirsty "Samaritan" women exist today who are dry, tired, lonely, and empty. They build one cistern after another hoping to catch refreshment, yet after each drink of brackish water they continue their search. It is only as they come to the fountain of Living Water do they find what they are really longing for.
Jesus blesses those who hunger and thirst after righteousness and promises them fullness (Matthew 5:6). Come to Jesus. Come to the Fountain of Living Water.

Questions regarding today's Chronological Bible reading
Jeremiah 2:1-4:31
  • How does the LORD describe the beginning of His relationship with Israel?
  • What question does the LORD ask that reveals Israel's reason for wandering?
  • What other analogies does the LORD use to describe His relationship with Israel?
  • What do these tell you about the heart of God for His people?
  • Who does the LORD hold most responsible for Israel's wandering?
  • What did God do in the hopes of causing Israel to return to Him? What does this tell you about the LORD?
  • What affect does Jeremiah's message have on King Josiah?
  • What does "returning to the LORD" look like?
  • What does the LORD allow to happen in Jeremiah's day that demonstrates the LORD's hatred of sin among His people and His hope in their return?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the LORD to reveal the substitutes that you use to fill the hollow place in your heart/life made for Him. Come to Him as the Fountain of Living Water and confess Him as your only hope and thirst-quencher.