The Old Testament book of Jeremiah doesn't get a lot of press, and what it does get is mostly negative. It's understandable; it's not the most uplifting book in the Bible, as it's full of dire prophecies about God's judgment on the nation of Israel, and it's sometimes hard to figure out how it's relevant to our lives. But God saw to it that it became part of Scripture for a reason, and my reading this morning in the second chapter confirmed that. Here's how the 13th verse reads (from the New American Standard Version):
For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water.So, who in their right mind would do something like this? Who would trade access to a never-ending stream of water for a reservoir, regardless of how big or full it is? That's just crazy talk. And yet...
I don't know about you, but that sure describes what I often do. I try to save up blessings and provision, because, well, you just never know when the supply is going to dry up. But this passage in Jeremiah reminds us that God's blessings are perpetual to those who are faithful in relying on Him. And further, our self-reliance is guaranteed to fail. The passage uses a homemade, leaky cistern as a word picture of the futility of our trying to control and master the world around us, independent of God.
It's easier said than done, of course, but letting God's stream of blessing wash over us will ultimately be infinitely more helpful than obsessing over the filling of a leaky bucket in anticipation of the next drought.