Jeremiah 2:32: Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

When God becomes less an object of fervent desire, inward delight, and frequent thought, we may suspect a cooling of Divine love in the soul. Our spiritual views of God, and our  constant delight in Him, will be materially affected by the state of our love for Him. If there is coldness in the affections, if the mind grows earthly, carnal, and selfish; dark and gloomy shadows will gather round the character and the glory of God. He will become less an object of supreme attachment,  delight, and trust. The moment the supreme love of Adam to God declined, the instant that it swerved from its proper and lawful center, he shunned converse with God, and sought to hide himself from the presence of the Divine glory. Conscious of a change in his affections, and knowing that God was no longer the object of his supreme love, he rushed from His presence as from an object of terror, and sought concealment in the woods and bushes of Eden. That God; whose presence was once so glorious, whose converse was so holy, and  whose voice was so sweet, became as a stranger to the rebellious, guilty, and conscience-stricken man.

And where is this difference? Was God less glorious in Himself? Was He less holy, less loving, less faithful, or less the fountain of life? Far from it, God had undergone no change. It is the perfection of a perfect Being that He is unchangeable, that He will never act contrary to His own nature, but must ever be, in all that He does, in harmony with Himself. The change was in the creature. Adam had left his first love, had transferred his affections to another and an inferior object; and, conscious that he had ceased to love God, he would sincerely have veiled himself from His presence, and have excluded himself from His communion; if he could have.  It is the same, even today, in the experience of a believer, whose love toward God has slipped away. There is a hiding from His presence; an uncertain view of His character, misinterpretations of His dealings, and a lessening of that burning desire for Him.

It is not only in the falling away of that Divine love in the soul, where God becomes less an object of adoring contemplation and desire; but there is less of a fatherly approach to Him. The sweet confidence and simple trust of the child is lost, the soul no longer rushes into His bosom with all the  yearnings of a son, but lingers at a distance; or, if it attempts to approach, does so with the trembling and the restraint of a servant, even a slave. The tender, loving, child-like spirit that once marked the walk of the believer in the days of his renewal—when no object was so glorious to him as God, no being so loved as his heavenly Father, no place so sacred as the throne of communion, —- has in a great degree departed; and distrust, fears, and the spirit of bondage have succeeded it. And how, you might wonder, does this falling away begin; or happen? Well, God has something to say about this, earlier in the chapter: let’s take a look.

Jer 2:13  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.

It is amazing if you really look at the way people throw away the priceless things of life to settle for cheap things. Nowhere else is this more seen than in man’s relationship to God. God is like a spring of living water. It flows naturally and continuously. It is fresh and refreshing too. Its supply is endless. The only thing that we need to do to enjoy this fountain is to drink deeply of it.

Instead of doing that we totally forsake God. We do not value the grace of God that is freely given to us. Now that is the first step. But however hard you try you cannot stop there. Because according to nature’s law a vacuum cannot exist. Something has to fill it as soon as a vacuum is created. When God, who is the source of our life, is forsaken; a vacuum is created in our hearts. And then we cannot help but fill it. So the first sin — that of forsaking God — naturally leads to the second sin — the hewing out of the man-made cisterns described here.

To compensate for our loss of relationship with God, we try to dig our own cisterns and try to store water. This is nothing other than pride. We try to make ourselves self-sufficient. But we can never be self-sufficient without God. All our efforts will be only like broken cisterns that cannot hold water. In other words, your efforts to fill the vacuum created by your rejection of God will be continuous; but it will be futile. You will fill only to find it drained away. In effect, you will be caught in a continuous cycle of filling and refilling. Yet you will remain in thirst and fear..

WHAT AN infinite mistake, my friends, to miss the Freely Flowing Fountain, only to hew out broken cisterns, filled only with disappointment and despair. Many in that condition may hear these words— each one, within reach of God, who are nevertheless  attempting the impossible task of satisfying their craving for the infinite and Divine, with men and the things of this world.

There is the cistern of Pleasure, engraved with fruits and flowers, wrought at the cost of health and peace; the cistern of Wealth, gilded and inlaid with costly gems; the cistern of Human love, which, however fair and beautiful, can never satisfy the soul that has turned away from God—all these; as well as the man-made cisterns of politics, financial security, home ownership, family, and church—-& a hundred others I could mention; and all of them; every one of them; erected at infinite cost,  can hold only disappointment; dissolutionment; treachery; and death.

All this, while at our feet the fountain of God’s love is flowing through the sacrifice of our risen Lord, Yeshua. He says to each of us: “Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst.'” Oh my friends, we must again descend to the level of the stream, on our knees, if its waters are to flow over our parched lips to satisfy our thirst. We must come back to  the foot of the Cross, and hear again the words of Him who died there for us, saying “I thirst,” that with His thirst, He might freely give the Water of Life to all who will come.

Those of you who hear me; those of you who are weary of this constant toil, drop your tools, and come back to God. Forsake the alliances, the friendships, the idolatries, and the sins which have alienated you from your loving Father. Open your heart, that He may create in you a fountain of living water, leaping up to eternal life. “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come! And let him that heareth say, Come! And let him that is athirst, Come!  And whosoever will, let him come, and take the water of life freely.”

What you will find, my friends, is that, at that Fountain,  when your heart is right in its commitment, glowing in its love, and fixed in its desires; that God is glorious in His perfections, and that communion with Him the highest bliss that your soul and spirit are capable of while you are here on earth. This was David’s experience; and we will close with his marvelous declaration:-“O God, You are my God; early will I seek You: my soul thirsts for You, my flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where no water is; to see Your power and Your glory, so as I have seen You in the sanctuary. Because Your loving-kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise You.”


This is a transcript of one of my podcasts. It is from Cunneda’s Ramble, Volume 31: Broken Cisterns.

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