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                           "TWO GREAT EVILS"

                             Jeremiah 2:13


1. About 600 years before Christ, the nation of Judah was facing
   difficult times...
   a. The northern kingdom of Israel was history, taken into Assyrian
   b. Manasseh and his son Amnon, very wicked kings, had led the nation
      into idolatry
   c. Young Josiah, son and grandson of such kings, struggled to do what
      was right

2. In the thirteenth year of Josiah's reign, God called a young priest
   to be His prophet...
   a. His name was Jeremiah - Jer 1:1-2,4-5
   b. A young man himself (about 20), he was hesitant to speak - Jer 1:6
   c. God did not accept his youth as an excuse - Jer 1:7-8

3. In his first assignment as God's prophet, Jeremiah was sent with a
   message to...
   a. Jerusalem, recalling their past faithfulness - Jer 2:1-3
   b. The house of Jacob and all the families of the house of Israel,
      bemoaning their apostasy into idolatry - Jer 2:4-11

4. Calling for the heavens to look on in astonishment and great fear, as
   God accused His people of committing two great evils... - Jer 2:12-13
   a. Forsaking their God, the fountain of living waters
      1) "living water" was used to denote springs, fountains, running
      2) As opposed to stale and stagnant water
   b. Hewing for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water
      1) Cisterns were tanks for rain water, hewn (cut) out of stone
      2) At best, they could only offer stagnant water
      3) Broken with cracks, they could not even retain water

[Could we be guilty of similar evils today? To God's dismay and our own
peril, very much so!  To see how, let's examine closer the "Two Great
Evils" spoken of in Jer 2:13...]


      1. God was Israel's fountain of living waters
         a. Who delivered her from Egyptian bondage - Jer 2:6
         b. Who led her through the wilderness wanderings - Jer 2:6
         c. Who brought her into the land of milk and honey - Jer 2:7
      2. Israel forgot her God
         a. Beginning with her own priests and rulers - Jer 2:8
         b. From one generation to the next - Jer 2:9
         c. Unlike other nations that were true to their gods - Jer 2:
      -- Israel had changed their Glory (God) into that which did not
         profit! - Jer 2:11b

      1. We have our fountain of living waters
         a. Of which Jesus promised during His ministry
            1) To the Samaritan woman - Jn 4:13-14
            2) To all who believe in Him - Jn 7:37-39
         c. Of which Jesus later revealed to the apostle John
            1) Regarding our state between death and the resurrection
               - Re 7:13-17
            2) Regarding our eternal destiny in the New Jerusalem - Re
      2. Dare we forget our God?
         a. Who through Jesus and His Spirit offers to us in this life:
            1) A fountain springing up into everlasting life? - Jn 4:14
            2) Rivers of living water flowing from our hearts? - Jn 7:38
         b. Who through Jesus and His Spirit promises to us after this
            1) To lead us to living fountains of water? - Re 7:17
            2) A pure river of water of life, proceeding from the throne
               of God? - Re 22:1
         -- We face a very real possibility of departing from the living
            God! - He 3:12-14

[Forsaking our fountain of living water occurs when we substitute with
it "broken cisterns" that promise but do not deliver.  Consider what
Judah had done...]


      1. False gods like Baal - Jer 2:8
      2. False prophets who spoke in the name of Baal - Jer 2:8
      3. False sense of prosperity, of which God forewarned - Deut 8:
         11-17; cf. Jer 2:6
      -- Israel foolishly left God for what were poor substitutes!

      1. We can be guilty of going after false gods today  - cf. Ep 5:5;
         Col 3:5
         a. Such as materialism and immorality
         b. Which is a form of idolatry
      2. We can be guilty of heeding false prophets (teachers) - cf.
         2Pe 2:1-3
         a. Who lead us into denominationalism or sectarianism
         b. Contrary to Jesus' prayer and the unity of the Spirit - cf.
            Jn 17:20-21; Ep 4:3-6
         c. Others who offer false hopes:  e.g., new agers, false
            religions, get rich quick schemers
      3. We can be guilty of a false sense of prosperity - cf. Re 3:
         a. Believing we are spiritually secure
         b. When we are in grave danger of falling - cf. 1Co 10:12
      -- We can be guilty of leaving God for a poor substitute of true


1. Adam Clarke, in his commentary, describes the two evils committed by
   a. "First, they forsook God, the Fountain of life, light, prosperity,
      and happiness."
   b. "Secondly, they hewed out broken cisterns; they joined themselves
      to idols, from whom they could receive neither temporal nor
      spiritual good! Their conduct was the excess of folly and

2. How much more would it be an excess of folly and blindness for us
   a. To forsake God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, by neglecting our
      devotion and obedience to the Word of God!
   b. To spend more time drinking from "broken cisterns" (teachings and
      traditions of men), than from the fountain of living water (the
      living Word of God)

May the unfortunate example of Judah serve as a warning as to where get
our "water", and may we ever be open to the wonderful invitation
extended at the end of the book of Revelation:

   "And the Spirit and the bride say, 'Come!' And let him who hears
   say, 'Come!' And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let
   him take the water of life freely." (Re 22:17)

Are you drinking from "the water of life", or from "broken cisterns that
can hold no water"...?
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