Summary: The suffering of the innocent and how God helps us through it.
Title: The Cistern of Christ.
Text: Lamentations 3:52-57
“Coca-Cola was the result of an accident. In 1886 a pharmacist named John Pemberton cooked up a medicinal syrup in a large brass kettle slung over an open fire, stirring it with an oar. When he was done, he figured he had created a fine tonic for people who were tired, nervous, or plagued with sore teeth. He and his assistant mixed it with ice water, sipped it, and proclaimed it tasty. They wanted some more, and the assistant accidentally used carbonated water to mix the second batch. Voila! Instead of medicine, these men had created a fizzy beverage--one that is now consumed around the world.”
The book of Lamentations is a book of the old testament that people rarely quote. I personally have never heard any sermons using this book, but yet it is a very strong and powerful book. It is written by the prophet Jeremiah whom people call the weeping prophet. A book that was written shortly after the fall of Jerusalem in 586 BC. Written in a time of despair and a time of Gods judgment. But we learn something great in chapter 3 from versus 52 to 57. We learn that what man uses for harm God uses for His glory.
So who here tonight wants God to turn around the situation of your life and transform it for His glory?
For us to want God to do that we must first understand the cistern we and Jeremiah were or are in.
Point 1) The cistern of Jeremiah
Text: Lam. 3:52-57
The text that we just read is a reflection or we can say a cry of what Jeremiah was feeling in Jeremiah 38:6
Jeremiah 38:6 “So the officials took Jeremiah from his cell and lowered him by ropes into an empty cistern in the prison yard. It belonged to Malkijah, a member of the royal family. There was no water in the cistern but there was a thick layer of mud at the bottom, and Jeremiah sank down into it.”
Jeremiah went from bad to worse. Jeremiah was imprisoned and they took him and placed him in a cistern. Jeremiah was placed in a cistern. Jeremiah was an innocent man. He was a man that spoke what God wanted him to speak and only did what God wanted him to do. But you can see that Jeremiah, an innocent man was placed in a cistern to die. There are many here today that are in the same situation. There are many here today that have been placed in a cistern. I want to go over two reasons of why you are in this cistern.
Sub-point 1) The cistern you have placed yourself in.
Many here are living the affects of bad decisions of the past. Some decisions may have been made as long as you can remember. Other decisions may have been recent. How many are living depressed because they decided something wrong at some point. Some got into wrong relationships, they made the wrong decision, and until today are unable to trust. You knew you should have never gotten into that relationship but you did and know you suffer from it. Others had two jobs offers but you decided that the one that paid more was better but you knew that you should have taken the other one and until today you cant forgive yourself for it. Others invested in the wrong places. Bad stocks, land, buildings and now you just don’t now what to do. How many here new they should have been on their knees praying for a situation but instead you thought your strength was good enough and did it your way and no you suffer from that. Unfortunately, many here are living in a cistern because you have put yourself in it.
It was King Solomon, the wisest man ever that thought that he could do whatever he wanted with the wisdom God gave him, but looks at the end of his life. He had 700 wives, 300 concubines, a land full of idols, and a heart that was extremely distant from the Lord. Yes he did write at the end of the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 12 to “fear God and obey His commandments” but he had already messed up to much to go back and change everything. The kingdom was then divided and idolatry grew so fast throughout the land after Solomon.
If you are this person that has made bad decisions then I want to tell you that God can have mercy on you and He can still change things around.
But I want to focus on what this text is truly talking about. And it is talking about the innocent that has been placed in the cistern.