“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.” (Jeremiah 2:13)
The people described by the prophet Jeremiah in this verse were fools, twice over. To turn your back on a fountain of waters (in this case, “living waters”) for the risk of a man-made, artificial tank or reservoir is to show yourself to be lacking in good judgment…especially when it turns out the cisterns are broken. In a case like this, a man or woman could spend a great deal of his or her life thirsty, perhaps even dying of it.
Now, here’s the real clincher: the fountain in this verse is God Himself (“…they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters…”). Still, who of us has not seen (or experienced) this very thing? Trading peace with God and purpose of life for turmoil, stress, and aimlessness, just to do things our own way—dig our own wells, if you will. We should know that any self-devised plan for our lives that turns away from Biblical precepts in favor of so-called “popular wisdom” will leave us high and dry every time. The mark of such a man or woman (saved or lost) is a broken life, a broken heart, broken promises, and broken relationships.
Only the water that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman in John four possesses qualities capable of quenching eternal, internal thirst. Anything else—philosophy, psychology, self-help, positive thinking, “visualization,” mood-elevating drugs, etc.—are all simply broken cisterns, and when push comes to shove, they just won’t hold water. It goes without saying that a wise individual will leave such unreliable sources for the God, the Fountain of Living Water; because only a fool would choose bottled water when there is an artesian well at your disposal.
Can you say with the Psalmist, “For with thee is the fountain of life…” and “…all my springs are in thee”? (Psalm 36:9; 87:7)