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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Water

Jeremiah 2:12-13

Our thirst mechanism is one of the most finely tuned mechanisms we have in our body. When our body needs hydration, it lets us know it. Our body can tell us its thirsty but it doesn't control what we choose to drink.

The end of this month I am going to be running my first race in a long time. The last time I ran a race was in high school and it was 200 yards. (Yeah, I know they measure it in meters now but I'm OLD and, back in the day...). I purposefully chose the sprints because I hated the distance stuff. But, the end of the month I am going to run a half marathon. That would be 13.1 miles for the uninitiated. And it is a trail course so that means a fair amount of up and down. Should be fun. (http://www.brazenracing.com/bearcreektrail.html)

In running, it is important to "Obey your thirst." Water is truly life. And as much as the alcohol, sports drink and soft drink industries have tried to improve on just plain water, ultimately there isn't anything better. The water substitutes we are constantly marketed to purchase don't meet the need of that which we can get for free.

In the book of Jeremiah, God takes his people to task for two evils. God says that we should be "appalled, shocked and utterly desolate" that his people would do such a thing. What did they do? They rejected God's water.

Palestine had three sources of water: the best source of water was fresh water that flowed from a stream or a spring. It was called "living water" in Hebrew. Next was ground water that would be collected from digging a well. Lastly was run-off water that was collected in limestone holes in the ground that were plastered to protect from seepage.

God's condemnation was two-fold: first, they had traded the best water for the worst. They had traded fresh, living water for sludge pond water. Second, the holes they dug for their run-off water were cracked. In other words, they weren't even capable of holding any water.

The words are figurative to describe the trade-off God's people made. They traded the fresh, life-giving presence of God for that which was inferior and, ultimately faulty. There would be a day where they would seek to "Obey their thirst" and there would be nothing to drink because what they had created was cracked. Any life sustaining liquid collected had long ago seeped away.

We face a constant battle against forsaking what is best and creating faulty, cracked cisterns. They can be as simple as working too much - not trusting God's Sabbath principle of rest (which is an act of faith, trusting God to provide). Or they can be much deeper in trying to buy our relationships with our kids through possessions vs personal time or substituting porn or affairs for the true intimacy of a marriage.

As you read through the words of Jeremiah, it becomes clear that for the people of God in that time, they chased everything and everybody other than God.

We all thirst. It is the way we were created. What are you thirsting after? And what are you drinking?

John 4:10-14, John 7:37-38, Revelation 22:1-5

1 comment:

Jerry said...

Once again you have nailed it. They really missed the point, eh? What did a hole or trap run-off when they could have bottled God's good stuff right there. It could have been the birth of Capitalism...but nooooo....they had to resist God. Great job Israelites. Way to go. Best of luck with the run. I would like to be there to throw water at you when you run by.

Jerry