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. (Jeremiah 2:13 ESV)
Jeremiah prophesies to Judah of their pending exile. Here is a summary statement of their crime. They have forsaken God, the fountain of life, and pursued the gods of the nations around them, which are likened to broken cisterns that cannot hold the water needed to sustain them. It is a fitting description of our idols. Today, our idols aren’t often represented by statues of wood and stone set in temples with ritualistic services. But we have idols all the same. We look to societal acceptance through, materialism, career, etc. But these too are broken cisterns. They may capture some of the joy and sense of life that we seek but that joy/life doesn’t last. It drains away and demands more from us to capture it. Each time there is less return on our invested time and energy. This is the nature of idols. Jeremiah is a book filled with the lessons of history that the wise among us might take note.