Our Own Resources

“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. Jer 2:13
We said earlier in these meditations, that throughout the Bible there are clues that indicate that we, in the human race, are in dire need of a saviour.  Our verse today is part of a prophecy that the Lord gave to Jeremiah about His people and in it He identifies two ‘sub-sins’ that are actually at the heart of all Sin, and therefore we can identify them in every person.
The first of these sub-sins is that of forsaking God. The apostle Paul wrote to the church at Rome, that God’s anger is upon the human race “since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” (Rom 1:19). When preaching to the people of Athens (Acts 17:26,27) he said, “he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him.”   i.e. the way history works should set people searching for the meaning behind it – and find God.
Solomon similarly wrote, “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men” (Eccles 3:11),  again indicating this same thing, that the way God has made both us and this world, we should be finding Him in it.    But what instead happens?   People forsake God who is, in fact, the source of all life.  Indeed, they turn away from the revelation they have.  We believe that the Lord speaks to every single human being, and if that is so, then it is all the more amazing that people should turn away.  There can be no other explanation than the fact of Sin which shows itself in our folly.
Can we be quite clear about this. The first of these ‘sub-sins’ that form the two halves of all Sin, is to turn away from God. The evidence is there for us to see, but we reject it and turn away from it and turn away from God. Rejection of God is at the heart of all sin. It is what Sin is all about.
But we show this folly even more; we “dig our own cisterns”.   What does this mean?  It means we try to make our own provision, we try to get by on our own, we have our own coping mechanisms – anything but God!  How stupid is this!  Listen to any atheist denouncing religion. What are they saying? They denounce religion because it makes man reliant upon God. Oh no, they say, we can get by without all this talk of ‘God’.  Human beings can get by without resorting to a God, they say.
So, again, let’s be quite clear about this. The other side of the same coin of Sin, is self-sufficiency, trying to get by with our own coping mechanisms. God in His grace often lets us plough on through life with this delusion, for He knows there will come a time where we will realise that actually, on our own, we can’t make it!
If God, the all-powerful, all-wise, all-loving One, is there to provide us with the things He knows we need (because He’s designed us that way), how stupid is it to turn away from Him and try and provide our own resources instead!    Why do we do it?   Because we don’t like submitting to anyone else, as great and as glorious and as loving as He is.    That is the stupidity of Sin that we need rescuing from!
Lord, the signs are there and I didn’t heed them. I have only come to this place because you drew me.  Thank you for doing this, thank you for stirring this need within me.  Help me, Lord, to understand the awfulness of these truths and the wonder of your love revealed through Easter.

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