Daily Devotional

The Spring of Living Water

by Simon Whitton

"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)

In much of ancient Israel a reliable source of water was probably the most serious ongoing concern that a person could have.  Half of the typical year would be a 'dry season' where there would be no rain at all; and a drought could make things even worse.  It wasn't just drinking water that was needed, but livestock and crops also required a regular supply.  Without this most basic and central provision, their whole way of life would quickly deteriorate, even to the point of endangering their lives.

In the above scripture Jeremiah is, of course, speaking figuratively.  He uses the life-sustaining issue of 'water supply' to illustrate two sins that the people of God had committed.  The first was that they had forsaken the Lord, 'the spring of living water', and had turned away from Him.

Going to collect water was a part of Israel's daily routine; and in a similar way, we should be going to the Lord every day for life's sustenance.  Even though it may seem like a chore, and perhaps even frustrating at times, we must persevere.  You may think your prayers aren't being answered or the road is too hard, sin is blocking your way, or maybe that God has even abandoned you, but we must not give up.  Continue to turn towards the Lord as the source of all life.

The second sin Jeremiah referred to was that the people of God 'have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water'.  With water so sparse in Israel, they would often dig cisterns in the rocky ground.  These were hollowed out chambers that were lined with plaster to try to make them watertight.  They required a lot of labour to build and maintain.  The cisterns would be filled with water during the rainy season as an additional supply in case the wells and springs ran dry.

The second sin Jeremiah is illustrating is that the people have failed to trust the Lord, the spring of living water, instead they put their effort and trust in other things.  'Those who dig their own cisterns' may refer to 'good works' as insurance for salvation, but God's provision is enough.  Perhaps it's chasing after material things and wealth, thinking they offer security from 'drought'; but the Lord's provision will not run dry.  Maybe it's trying to find satisfaction through sin, but only living water can quench that thirst.

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 4:14 (NIV)

There is much fear that the Lord cannot sustain us or that He will let us down as we face poverty, sickness, trouble and hardship, but we must continue to go to the spring of living water.  Though it may appear to be only a trickle at times, it is enough to sustain you for each day.  He will never run dry, even during the most severe of droughts.  Let's not turn away from Him and put our hope in cisterns that will surely fail.

The Lord desires to be our only source of trust and reliance.  He is the natural spring of living water that is clear and pure, without cost, and sufficient for all your needs.  He is able to bring life to your spirit and provision to your body. We just need to draw from Him daily.

Spend some time in prayer, and go to the spring of living water...

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