I have not posted anything in a pitifully long time, and decided it was time for a fresh look! 🙂 My previous blog is astherisingsun.blogspot.com if you would like to read any of my older posts.
The Prelude: I am currently a Sophomore at BIOLA University in La Mirada, California. It is an amazing school, that is devoted to having students #thinkbiblicallyabouteverything. But f’realz. Last semester I took Old Testament History/Literature with a professor who has been described as, verbatim, “the Chuck Norris of the Old Testament.” And it’s true. This man is a humble man who loves his Jesus, family, Alabama football, and students more than anything. In that order too. 😉 A continual theme he pointed out to my class was idolatry within the Old Testament.
Now, when I think of idols the little cat that waves to you at my local Chinese take-out is what typically comes to my head. However, my professor was quick to point out idolatry is anything that comes between us as Christ. As a Christian, this is a pretty fundamental ideology, and I thought I had it nailed. I was reading about the Israelites and criticizing them at every turn; but when I really began to dig, I found up I was just as jacked up and janky as the Israelites.
The Application: The other day, I began reading through Jeremiah. In chapter 2 I came across verse 13:
“for my people have committed two evils: they have FORSAKEN me, the FOUNTAIN OF LIVING WATER, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, BROKEN cisterns that can hold NO WATER.” (Emphasis mine.)
This is complete and utter idolatry. The first evil was the people had forsaken the Lord, and (assumingly) walked away from Him. The second is they tried to do better than the living God. It is interesting that God mentions the cisterns the people tried to make for themselves are broken. There is nothing that can compare to the Living God, the Utmost, the Almighty, the great I AM.
In John 4:14 Jesus uses the same language God uses here while talking to Jeremiah about being living water. Now water is unlike most liquids, it sustains, but it has a density where it does not sink when frozen, it is the universal solvent, it is different from many other liquids.*
Not only is God the Living Water, the very thing our bodies need most (we die in about 3 days without it, opposed to food where we can survive weeks). God is incredibly unique from the other gods the world offers us. When we try to follow these gods, we are following these broken cisterns that can hold no water, no life-sustaining substance.
These cisterns are not functional, and do not give us the very thing we NEED most. Water is not always fun to drink. It is much more fun to drink coke, or lemonade, or slurpees, but we desperately NEED it. This idolatry of cisterns can come in many different forms: pride, love, vanity, etc.
But much like the Israelites, when we carve out our own cisterns, we lose the Living Water.
*My Chemistry professor, loves water and would talk about it’s wondrous properties. She desires to teach a class on water, and is one of the sweetest, God-fearing women I know. If you would like to know more about water, I can put her in touch with you. 😉