‘If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! But now they are hid from thine eyes.’
What an awful declaration! What a dreary lamentation! Oh! What a poignant avowal!
‘How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!’ Not without the heaviness of heart were this winsome yet now helpless words uttered. The gloomy Saviour could not restrain Himself from weeping over His beloved, for she had rejected Him the only one who could slake her inveterate thirst and her only source of peace. How doleful He was, for her blindness and obstinacy had prevented her from discerning the ‘hour of her visitation’. And what a sharp contrast, for the Jews unmindful of their fate were jubilant, confident in their evanescent peace. They thought in conspiring with the Roman mercenaries to ignominiously exterminate Jesus they would procure their long term peace, oh what a whimsy! For not only did they not get their peace but that was the beginning of their end.
Like father like son
But such buffoonery was equally evinced by their forefathers prior to the Babylonian captivity. Of them the prophetic canons record. ‘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’. Any cursory reader would discern in these an allusion to their idolatry.
All their evils had their genesis in these that ‘ they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.’ Why so?.. a little flashforward would do.. in the exchange at Jacob’s well, Jesus did proffer to the Samaritan woman a wellspring of water that would forever slake her thirst. She was obviously thirsty as evidenced by her relations with multifarious men. The offer to drink from the everlasting well is repeated anon and anon in scripture pointing to the universality of the thirst. Evidently, there is a thirst that is divinely placed in us that only God can fill and the filling of it is what makes Him our God for none other can.
Back to the Israel of old having forsaken God, they futilely tried to satiate their thirst thus inventing all manner of evils. In the making and worshipping of idols and other foreign gods they were trying inadvertently to quench their thirst. Their idolatry, their greatest undoing, was in essence a mechanism for quenching their thirst from broken cisterns that they had hewn. So, idolatry I assert is an attempt to slake your innate thirst from a broken cistern, cisterns of your own making. And so to say whoever or whatever quenches your thirst becomes your god.
Where do you quench your thirst?
So reader, where do you quench your thirst, from whence do you derive your satisfaction? Is it from the endless series you incessantly watch, or from drugs, music, the multifaceted collection of books you have, the passion you are assiduously pursuing? Do you feel satisfied or do you keep wishing if only I had this or that?
Sadly though, many including Christians are restless, listless and thirsty. Many are on the verge of despair for they have a craving they can’t seem to get around. Many a young lady ludicrously hope that someday they will stumble across this guy who would make them happy. Wild dream I say for no one man or woman under the heavens can completely quench your thirst. Oh! what a numberless throng who are daily drinking from the broken cisterns of this world whose satisfaction is ephemeral. They drink only to thirst again. Oh! How deeper they wallow in misery incessantly trying out new cisterns that have nothing better to offer. Are you one of them?
But Jesus says ‘Come and let him who is athirst come and take of the water of life freely’. You don’t have to thirst anymore there is water, free inexhaustible water.
Every human resource and dependence will fail. The cisterns will be emptied, the pools become dry; but our Redeemer is an inexhaustible fountain. We may drink, and drink again, and ever find a fresh supply. He in whom Christ dwells has within himself the fountain of blessing, — “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” From this source, he may draw strength and grace sufficient for all his needs.
Oh, desperate longing soul will you draw nigh and take a draft of the everlasting water or will you obstinately linger in your broken cisterns. Like Israel of old Jesus is offering us the water of life, true satisfaction and peace, something we can’t attain on our own. Are we going to follow in their footsteps by rejecting Christ? We might pass judgement on the idolatry of Israel of old yet we are no better than them, for in our screens, passions, bookshelves even relationships lie our idols. Because of the multitude of our broken cisterns, we are the most desperate generation the world has ever seen. True happiness is at best a visitor in our society, depression has become our favorite drug and suicide our favorite sport. What a pity! But Jesus is tenderly entreating, come drink from me, come find rest, you don’t have to wind down the path of eternal sorrow. Will you go to Him?
Make it a resolve to frequent the fountains of living water. Drink and drink to your fill and invite others to drink too. Let Christ dwell in you and every day you will live a chipper life, heaven on earth.
Jeremiah 17:1 3