Jeremiah 2:13 (ETRV) 13 "My people have done two evil things. They turned away from me, and they dug their own water cisterns. I am the source of living water; those cisterns are broken and cannot hold water.
Israel had committed two sins. The first was one of omission: she had forsaken her God.
Her second sin was one of commission: she had replaced her true God with false idols.
Man’s heart, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Using imagery that those residing in Judah would understand, Jeremiah compared the nation’s actions to someone abandoning a spring of living (running) water for broken cisterns. The most reliable and refreshing sources of water in Israel were her natural springs. This water was dependable; and its clear, cool consistency was satisfying. In contrast, the most unreliable source of water was cisterns. Cisterns were large pits dug into the rock and covered with plaster. These pits were used to gather rainwater. This water was brackish; and if the rains were below normal, it could run out. Worse yet, if a cistern developed a crack it would not hold the water. To turn from a dependable, pure stream of running water to a broken, brackish cistern was idiotic. Yet that is what Judah did when she turned from God to idols.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures by Dallas Seminary Faculty.
Why would people dig their own cisterns rather than seek the living water from God? There are a number of reasons I can think of but I'll list a few.
We abandon God because of a desire for control.
When we depend on God's provisions it does not always happen the way we want it to and we get frustrated. Not that God has ever failed to provide for us, but we sometimes want it now and want something different than what we need, so we take matters into our own hands.
We abandon God sometimes without even intending to do so.
We just get busy with other things and pretty soon we are not drinking from the living water but we getting a drink wherever we can, and usually that is not the pure stuff so it affects us.
We abandon God because we allow the things to substitute for God.
We would rather shop, work, do some Facebooking, exercise...instead of seeking God and spending time with Him.
Are there areas in your life where you are like the Israelites? You have replaced God with cruddy imitations. Let's altar (surrender) our substitutes and take hold of the real thing. God desires your complete attention, He wants to be number one. Will you truly make Him the Lord of your life?