Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Jeremiah 2:1-37 9/15/19
There are three stark images that illustrate the people of Judah at the time Jeremiah was preaching to them. They are valuable reminders of what we need to guard against. In chapter 2 verse 5 God says that his once faithful people have, “…walked after emptiness…” and the result? Lo and behold they became empty.
You usually hit what you aim for. So since they went after emptiness, they got it, they became empty. For me, this is one description I don’t ever want to be said of me – that I was considered empty. I think the idea of walking after emptiness means, going after the things of life that bring nothing of substantial return. It means going after things of no eternal value but focusing instead on things that have no sustaining spiritual power. It is making a priority of amusing ourselves.
It’s actually quite easy to do activities that simply amuse us. Why are they easy? They’re easy because they sit on the path of least resistance. They’re easy because as the word literally means, these kinds of activities take little or no thought. A-muse means to not think – i.e. just put your brain in neutral and coast. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a time and a place for some sheer amusement as a stress release and for some fun. But it’s best only for a time and place, not for a life style, not a way of life or a daily habit forming hobby. On the other hand, when we invest time and energy, and blood, sweat and tears, so to speak, into something, there is likely a reciprocal return on the effort. We become full of what we are pouring ourselves into. That may sound odd but I believe it is exactly how it works.
It begs the question then: What does it mean to walk after fullness?
It means to go after that which will bring you a godly satisfaction or contentment. One of the best results of being full is that there is no room for bad influences or temptations to find any room in our hearts. You’re so full of this godly contentment that you don’t even WANT to veer off the path of righteousness. Godliness is of great gain when accompanied by contentment. When you’re pleased by and with the things that please God, and they are what fill your heart, that is a contentment God honors (1 Timothy 6:6).
The other two evils Judah did are related as we see in verse 13, “…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.”
When we ignore the very source of living water, and by the work of our own hands build leaky containers made to catch run off water… instead of being filled from that Source which quenches the deepest of spiritual thirsts… well that is the equivalent of spiritual adultery. We forsake God when rely on what we can come up with on our own, rather than trusting in the Source of living water. And the twist is, when we do trust Him, He becomes in our innermost beings, a source of that living water. Jesus didn’t scream things in public often, but one time we’re told He did was when He wanted everyone to know about this living water (John 7:37,38). Jesus was the living water. His Spirit is what fills us and satisfies us like no other.