Broken Cisterns

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” (Jer 2:13)

In this verse in Jeremiah, God rebukes His people for digging their own cisterns which they built them themselves, resulting in them being broken and useless. These cisterns were systems of storing and holding onto water, and this seemingly innocuous act is something that led to God admonishing them. As with anything in the Bible, seemingly trivial passages carry great spiritual truth behind them.

God is rebuking His people for trying to hold onto what He has done in the past by creating their own religious systems rather than seeking fresh revelation of Him every day. As the Israelites did this, they soon fell into fleshly works rather than allowing God, the source of all living life to flow through them. As they tried to build in their own flawed way rather than learning to remain in God, they lost the source of all true life and were left merely with the traditions of man.

The church today faces the same challenge as God’s people did in the Old Testament. If we do not seek the reality of God every day both in our personal lives and in our churches, the water that God gave us in the past will soon run dry and be lost in the broken systems that we try to build. His church is not to be a place that holds onto past revelations of moves of God, but is called to live daily in the life and reality of Jesus. A people that live in the reality of a walk in Him will reflect His life, love and glory, and this is what His church is called to be. However, if we do not give our lives and churches over to seeking Jesus the source of the living water, we will soon become dry and will merely reflect the flawed works and character of man. His church is called to be the light to the world, but will only truly be that light we give our lives over to the source of true life.

“Jesus answered, “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.” (John 4:13-14.)