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A Devotional:

Broken Cisterns

“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  


Jeremiah was one of God’s prophets to the people of Judah in the southern kingdom of the Israelites. Judah, at this time, was not following after God or keeping His commands, in fact, they were worshipping other gods instead. This made God angry, so He sent Jeremiah a message to give to His people. In this message, God describes His people’s sin with an illustration of a cistern or well. The Israelites had access to a cistern full of living waters that provided them everything they needed and more! But the people chose to leave this cistern full of living water behind and try to dig their own that they thought would be better. As it turns out, the cisterns they attempted to build didn’t work out so well; they were actually broken because they weren’t able to hold any water at all! God’s people committed two sins. They turned away from following after Him and they looked to worldly things to satisfy their needs like passions, possessions, and even false gods instead of the one true God. 

You know it’s really easy to read this story and wonder why these Israelites would forsake God He was the one who rescued them from slavery from the Egyptians, led them to the promised land that was flowing with milk and honey and was by their side every step of the way. But if we think about it, sometimes we do the same thing; sometimes we try to go and build our own cisterns. We often will hold other things of less importance over our relationship with God. Things such as school, friends, hobbies, and clubs can easily become more important to us than God. Just like the Israelites, we also will seek after worldly things and forsake the living waters God has to offer us. 

Jesus gave a very similar message and illustration to the woman at the well (John 4) about living water. Jesus tells her that this Living Water only comes from Him and if you drink it “will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life”. We will often look to other things to replace God in our lives, but they will never fulfill the great need we have for God and His great love for us. Someone once said, “We all have a God-shaped hole in our hearts and we try and try to fill it with many different things to find out that only God can”. No matter what we go through in life, whether good times or bad, we must always remember that our relationship with God comes first over family, friends, school, hobbies, clubs, and everything else. 

Pray and ask God to help you see what things you often chose over your relationship with Him. Pray for forgiveness for the times you’ve placed those things over Him and to be convicted of the times you will in the future. Finally, pray that God will continue to help you grow in your desire to follow Him and to live the life of a faithful servant to His Kingdom. 

Written By: FBCBA | CBC – Kids Ministry Team

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