There are two evils mentioned in Jeremiah 2: The people had forsaken God and the people have traded God for cisterns. These were not just any cisterns, but broken cisterns. Again we find that God’s people have traded Him for something else, something certainly not as desirable.
Interestingly enough, cisterns only hold a certain amount of water. It is limited. So when we read about trading a fountain for a cistern, the comparison already sounds like a horrible exchange. When we look at fountains, we are reminded of a steady flow of water. It seems never-ending.
The verse makes a great comparison of the two items (two evils). We are left with a choice. Do we want the fountain of living waters, Jesus Christ? Or do we want to gather for ourselves broken cisterns that leaves us forever thirsty? We are a broken people, but we need not choose to live our lives with broken cisterns. Instead, we can accept Jesus, the Living Water. With Him, anything is possible.
“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13 [ESV]
We have many choices in life. Over the years we have even more choices available to us. Years ago I never would have imagined all of the flavors of water or coffee. We have so many options. We also have a choice to make when it comes to God. We can choose to give our lives to Christ or to choose otherwise.
In Jeremiah, it was noted that the people did “two evil things.” Firstly, they abandoned God. They turned away from God. Secondly, after turning from God, they turned to something else—they gave their lives to something else, to another way.
Jeremiah wrote of these “cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all.” If a cistern is cracked, it’s worthless. Would you put money in a pocket with holes? Would you sail in a boat with a hole? Would you put your child in a stroller with a big hole in the bottom? No. Cracked cisterns in life will never provide you what God has for you. He is “the fountain of living water” and life comes through Him and Him alone. There will always be cracked cisterns when you abandon God.
“For my people have done two evil things: They have abandoned me–the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” – Jeremiah 2:13 [NLT]