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Posted by: Pastor Terry Hagedorn | September 27, 2018

Two Evils (Jer. 2:13)

Bob Horton:

In the book of Jeremiah the prophet indicts the nation for its sins and announces the coming judgment. The theme is captured in one verse: “For my people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water” (2:13). Meditate on the metaphor: instead of a continuously flowing fountain with fresh and refreshing water, they built broken cisterns – leaking holes in the ground to capture the run off from rains. In the best cases, water in cisterns is far from pure, gathering whatever dirt and waste lies between where the water falls and the cistern itself. But according to the metaphor, their cisterns did not even retain what it collected. Israel rejected their God and worshipped the idols of the surrounding countries.

It is incredible to read the history of Israel. Their best times were when they had godly leaders and stayed true to the one true God. Their worst times were when they followed ungodly leaders into idolatry. Yet in the time of Jeremiah, nearly 150 years after the Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity, and the Babylonians on their doorstep, they choose to reject God and to call on idols. “For according to the number of your cities were your gods, O Judah; and according to the number of streets of Jerusalem you have set up altars to that shameful thing, altars to burn incense to Baal” (11:13). Their idolatrous worship brought only the wrath of God. The two evils had consequences.

We must learn from their example. Paul tells us, “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). Unfortunately Jeremiah does not sound like he is talking about something that took place 2600 years ago.

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