TOPIC:“Living Life Three Ways”
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
TEXT:Jeremiah 2:12-13; John 4:5-15; John 7:37-39
“My people have committed two sins; They have forsaken Me, the spring of living
water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water”
(Jeremiah 2:13, NIV)
There are three descriptive phrases used in Holy Scripture to characterize the way people live their lives. Each of these phrases contain the word “water” which symbolizes the kind of lives people are living. In Jeremiah 2:13 we find the words: “broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” In John 4:14 these words: “a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” And in John 7:38 we read: “shall flow rivers of living water.” Now in those verses we find three things - CISTERNS of water that FAIL; a WELL of water that FILLS; RIVERS of water that FLOOD.
For the next few moments I want to search out each one of those three ways of living life. Let's begin our quest.
Consider, first of all, CISTERNS of water that FAIL. It is life without REALITY. That is precisely the point that God makes through the prophet Jeremiah in verse 13 of chapter 2: “My people have committed two sins; They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” These words speak not only of the two evils Israel as a covenant nation committed against God, but they represent the way mankind has forsaken the God who created them.
There is the evil of SPIRITUAL ABANDONMENT - “they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living water.” The NIV puts those last words: “the spring of living water.” This desertion from the living God started back in the Garden of Eden. Man had a beautiful start and every possible reason to make good. He was placed in a peaceful garden with a favorable environment around him. Here man lived in perfect fellowship with God his Maker knowing that he would never need to experience sin, fear, pain, tears or death. There in Eden man was free and God was the center of his life.
But then came the tragedy. Man decided to live his own life. Instead of God he put himself at the center of his life. Now of all the trees in the Garden, man was forbidden to eat the fruit of one particular tree. God's command was plain: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt . . .