Friday, February 26, 2010

Blaming it on the Alcohol Forsakes the Living Water

“For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.”
Jeremiah 2:13

“…drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee.”

In this passage, God is speaking to Jeremiah. He is the mouthpiece, addressing the people of Jerusalem concerning their adulteress ways against God. Two things in particular obviously hurt God deeply. First, there is the overt turning away from God as the fountain of living water. The second (as if the first was not bad enough) is that they hewn for themselves cisterns with holes in them to hold water. Now let me explain. To hewn is to hold fast, stick, or cleave to something. A cistern is also known as a receptacle for holding water or other liquid, especially a tank for catching and storing rainwater. Instead of cleaving to a Well of Life that never runs dry, they decide to catch rain water in a broken vessel. Rain water that can only be given by God in the first place. No matter how many pots they set out, if the Fountain of Living Water withholds the rain, there is no water to gather anyway.

How often are we like the people of Jerusalem? Turing away from God and thinking all the while that we have the power to create for ourselves opportunities that were only meant to be created by God. It is truly an evil thing when we drink from the fountains of the world, forgetting God, and losing the vitality of life He intended for us.

If you suffer from weariness and worry, ailments and sickness, poverty and powerlessness, could it be that the intoxication of this world has choked out the omnipotence of God working in your life?

As we conclude black history month, and consider those evils that have beset us from a life with God, a life of peace, a life of Living Water, let us think about this most profound verse of the Black National Anthem: Lift Every Voice and Sing.

Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee.
Lest our hearts, drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee.
Shadowed beneath Thy hand, may we forever stand,
True to our God, true to our native land.

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