Cleaning out the Cistern


For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water. Jeremiah 2:13 ESV

When we lived in a farm house in Southern Missouri, our main water supply was from our cistern. For those who don’t know what a cistern is; ours was a twenty foot deep, cement lined tank that was filled by water from our roof. During the driest part of the summer I decided to give that cistern a cleaning. First I climbed down a rope ladder to the bottom and bailed out the last of the water. Then with a bleach and water mixture I scrubbed out the dirt and slime. What had a celebration when a year later we finally replaced that cistern with a well. It was an amazing difference having an endless supply of pure clean water. If we had just ignored the well and kept on using the old cistern, people would have thought we were crazy. But that is exactly what Jeremiah said the Israelites had done. Instead of relying on the God who parted seas; gave them manna in the wilderness and victory over Goliath; they decided to worship stone statues. They chose gods who could not see, hear or help and gave up on the one who loved them. They were paying for dirty water from cracked cisterns when the purest water of all was available for free. Though most of us aren’t bowing to statues anymore we do rely on things that become cracked cisterns in our lives; like our bank account, career or popularity even though these often fail. Are you thirsty for today? Jesus Christ is offering us the most amazing bargain. He has given His life so that if we will simply come to Him and forget about our dirty cistern water, He will give us a well of living water that never will run dry!

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. CG Thelen says:

    What a great analogy. We lived in an old farm house for a time with a cistern, but fortunately we had a well. The cistern still collected rain water from the roof so we had to keep draining it. But there was always some water remaining on the bottom so we had to add bleach to stop the stagnant water from smelling.

    1. pastorpete51 says:

      The place we lived had once been a school house built by the WPA during the depression. It was actually not bad. It passed through a bed of charcoal to filter rain water or when it got dry we called the water company. Nevertheless a well was way better!

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