Jeremiah used several colorful water figures of speech in Chapter 2 of Jerimiah.

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.  Jeremiah 2:13 NIV

Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the LORD your God when he led you in the way? Now why go to Egypt to drink water from the Shihor? And why go to Assyria to drink water from the River? Jeremiah 2:17-18 NIV

Shihor is a tributary of the Nile, and “the River” is the Euphrates. Jeremiah observed Judah seeking help from Egypt and Assyria instead of depending on God. The Lord offered them refreshing life-giving water; instead they were either building their own broken cisterns (by worshiping wooden idols), or they were looking to their enemies to save them.

“As a thief is disgraced when he is caught, so the house of Israel is disgraced– they, their kings and their officials, their priests and their prophets. They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’ Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.“
Jeremiah 2:26-27 NIV

Have you ever seen a spring of fresh water, perhaps in the mountains? It is an amazing sight, fresh clear water bubbling up right out of the ground and flowing down, providing life to animals, plants, even people. Here is a picture of one.

The First Responder

Before we judge and point fingers at rebellious Judah, perhaps we should look at our lives – our own hearts. I myself have a tendency to be self-sufficient, to want to solve my own problems on my own, to fix the problem myself, neglecting to ask for help from God or anyone else. How about you? Is your first response to a problem to turn to God, to pray and ask for help, wisdom, insight and direction?

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O LORD, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings. They feast on the abundance of your house; you give them drink from your river of delights. For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light. Continue your love to those who know you, your righteousness to the upright in heart.  Psalm 36:5-10 NIV

Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” John 4:10 NIV

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:13-14 NIV

This week, read Jeremiah 2, perhaps in various versions. Listen to what the Holy Spirit tells you that you need to confess, or need to change. Thank God: that Jesus is our living water, that Jesus is our fountain of life, that through him, His Holy Spirit lives in us and is our eternal life.