“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 Israel at that time, springs provided the most dependable, refreshing, cool, clear water available. Cisterns, by contrast, were large pits dug into rocks that were used to collect rainwater’ Choose Joy, p. 79. One of the characteristics of a cistern was the possibility of cracks developing when seasons failed to produce rain. God’s statement was due to the fact that the nation of Israel had rejected Him and turned to false gods.
For many years, I dug my own cisterns in looking for joy and fulfillment. In marriage, I laid the responsibility of my happiness at Bruce’s feet. In motherhood, I assigned my sense of worth to the actions of my children. In family and friendship, I tied my expectations to their responses …if only they will or would have…all broken cisterns. The relationships with which God has blessed us were not put here to complete us or fulfill some need in us…they were placed in our lives to bless us and help us grow. God also never intended for us to dig into ourselves for security, power and strength. In considering cisterns, I find it interesting that while cisterns are man-dug caves, springs are God-created resources. Anyone or anything to which we tie our joy or contentment will dry up when the rain falls. Nothing short of God, the Living Waters, will be enough for whatever we need.
Even last night I was guilty of turning to broken cisterns in an attempt to gain something…I didn’t even know what I was thirsty for…so how could my cistern quench what was unclear to even me. If we are to experience lasting joy, it cannot be tied to anything but God.