For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns…
I. THE OBJECT FORSAKEN.
1. Sin is an ungrateful rejection of God. The parental bond is broken, the conjugal tie is dissolved, the oath of suretyship is annulled.
2. We cannot forsake God without forsaking our own mercies. Sin is always the act of a suicide; we cannot reject the counsel of God against ourselves without rejecting His blessings also.
3. What is the fountain which Israel hath thus forsaken? Oh! it is deep as the unfathomed sea; free as the unbought air; more healing than Bethesda's pool; fresh as the stream which comes forth from the throne of God and of the Lamb.
II. THE OBJECT PREFERRED.
1. The deadening character of all worldly enjoyments. For all the ends of consolation and encouragement and hope the resources of the world are worse than unavailing; The cisterns are not so empty as they are poisonous.
2. Poor as the world's enjoyments are, they are to be obtained only at great cost and labour. In drinking of "the fountain" you will have to stoop much, to kneel long, and to lie low. In drinking from the "cistern," you will have to labour hard, to drag heavily, and to climb high.
3. Another characteristic of worldly enjoyments is their instability, their transitoriness, their incapacity for yielding any continued happiness, or for "giving a man peace at the last." They are not "cisterns" only, but "broken cisterns"; vessels which let out their contents as fast as they put them in; cisterns "which can hold no water." The world not only palls upon its votaries while drinking of its waters, but its tide is always ebbing away. Not only may we write upon it "Marah" for the bitterness of its taste, but also "Ichabod" for the evanescence of its glory.
(D. Moore, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.
WEB: "For my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the spring of living waters, and cut them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.