Summary: You may be sitting here fully understanding that you could be going down the wrong road. You have seen warning signs that your life may not be pleasing to God. And you want this to change.
Three Warnings of Empty Cisterns
All Scripture Marked NLT: Tyndale House Publishers. (2004). Holy Bible : New Living Translation. "Text edition"--Spine. (2nd ed.). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.
All Scripture Marked “The Message”: Peterson, E. H. (2002). The Message : The Bible in contemporary language. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress.
Let us pray.
Dear Heavenly Father and Holy God;
We ask today that you will speak to us this morning. We all need to hear a word from you.
You are the God of great wonders!
You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations. (Ps 77:14, NLT)
Help us to see the wisdom of worshiping you and hearing from you. Teach us to take your Holy Word and apply it to every area of our life.
And teach us;
… not hide these truths from our children;
(teach us) to tell the next generation
about the glorious deeds of the Lord,
about his power and his mighty wonders. (Ps 78:4, NLT).
So, Lord, you speak move me out of the way. So that you may receive all of the glory and the honor. In Jesus name I pray, AMEN.
Thursday night, Monica and I were driving to Idar-Oberstein for the first time to attend a Chaplain’s dinner. We were already late and in a confused in a new town.
One my first lap around the city, I missed the restaurant. And the road, I thought I was one was a one way street. Then, as we drove a little more, this one way street divided into two lanes—both going the same way. Which I thought was very nice, because I was able to get around the car in front of me.
All was going well until we made it to the stop light. The right lane, I noticed, had a stop light. The left lane didn’t. And to top it off, the signs were all pointing the wrong way. The people in the other lane began giving us dirty looks and some were honking their horns.
It was clear then, that we were definitely in the wrong lane.
Many times in our lives, we are given warning signs that warn of danger. We see them and ignore them. But many times these warning signs could save us from going down the wrong road.
You may be sitting here fully understanding that you could be going down the wrong road. You have seen warning signs that your life may not be pleasing to God. And you want this to change.
This morning we are looking at a passage from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah. We read this passage a few minutes ago, as the Old Testament Reading.
So with your Bibles, please turn to Jeremiah 2:4-13, which is found on page______ in the blue Bibles in the pew in front of you.
I’ll be reading from the New Living Translation, which is slightly different from the New International Version in the pews.
This passage gives us some warning signs, taken from the proclamation of the Lord through Jeremiah to the Israelites.
Verse 13 reads:
13 “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!
God is angry with the Israelite people because they have abandoned Him and put their faith in beliefs that hold no water at all.
And we as Americans, as Christian of the 21st century, run into the same dangers and the same traps...and we must pay attention, lest we be destroyed. Everyday, I see the results of people putting their trust in Cisterns that hold no water at all.
Marriages crumble. Children going astray. Careers falling apart. All because they trust in the empty cisterns that hold no water.
Just as the Israelites were.
In this passage, Jeremiah is voicing the prophecy of Israel’s future defeat and exile to Babylon. He expresses this prophecy as a call God’s people to repentance. (Willmington, H. L. (1997). Willmington’s Bible handbook (381). Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers.)
God wanted His people to turn from their sin and follow Him. That is what repentance is—going down the wrong road and turning around to go down the right road.
He was showing the Israelite people the warning signs of destruction. And in the same way, we need to be reminded that God’s law has not changed and that we need to repent of our sin and turn to him.
The Lord’s first warning was to
I. Beware of the Broken Cistern of Humanism
5 This is what the Lord says:
“What did your ancestors find wrong with me
that led them to stray so far from me?
They worshiped worthless idols,
only to become worthless themselves.