Jeremiah, in chapter 2 of his eponymous book, begins his time of prophecy by laying out the case against Judah with words provided by God.
In his opening statement, Jeremiah reminds the people where they came from:
2 “This is what the Lord says: “‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown.
– Jeremiah 2:2
In this beautiful passage, Jeremiah paints a picture to remind the people how they first felt when He rescued them from Egypt. They had experienced a love for God like a new bride loves her groom. He describes how she felt beloved and safe and followed him, even through difficulties.
Jeremiah goes on to say that the people of Israel and ultimately Judah had then forgotten the Lord, their first love, and ended up devouring up the blessings of the gift of the land and as a result calamity happened to them over and over.
3 Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,’” declares the Lord.
– Jeremiah 2:3
God chose Israel, He gave to them His first fruit blessing and the people devoured it without reciprocating – by cheating on and desecrating the bride of their youth.
Jeremiah goes on in verses 5 through 8 to describe in detail what this lack of care looked like.
- They strayed far from God and followed worthless idols. (Verse 5)
- They forgot who had saved them from Egypt and who had led them through the wilderness. (Verse 6)
- They forgot how God had saved them from peril countless times. (Verse 6)
- They forgot the gift of the promised land and it’s endless riches which they ultimately defiled. (Verse 7)
- Their priests forgot the Lord, their leaders rebelled against Him and their prophets followed the works of Baal and even prophesied in that worthless idol’s name. (Verse 8)
Jeremiah then gets directly to the point and levels the charges:
9 “Therefore I bring charges against you again,” declares the Lord. “And I will bring charges against your children’s children.
13 “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.
– Jeremiah 2:9,13
God and his Legal Advocate, Jeremiah, contend that the Israelites went after folly and became fools. He makes this point in a way with which they all can identify. He states that God is literally AND figuratively, “living water”. He literally provided them water so they would not die while they were wandering the wilderness and He figuratively gave them water that they might live through the gift of freedom from Egypt, protection from the journey’s perils, blessing of the gift of their land and overflow from that land’s riches.
Jeremiah further details out the analogy by stating that the Isrealites dug their own “broken cisterns that cannot hold water”. They chose spoiled and diseased community wells over God’s fresh water. They invested their time and adoration in created idols that did not slake their spiritual thirst.
What fools the Israelites were to ignore the God-given glorious blessings they HAD for man-made prettied up curses that do way more harm than good.
What fools we all are