Has America changed her God? Have we forsaken the fountain of living waters, to hew for ourselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water?

As I was reading from the Book of Jeremiah, I was drawn to the Jeremiah 2:11-13 and the question “Has a nation changed their gods, though they are not gods? And how Israel had forsaken God, fashioning for themselves broken cisterns that could hold no water.

In the Bible, a cistern was an artificial reservoir which was dug in the earth or hewn in the rock for the collection and storage of water. Cisterns were very important in the land of Israel because of the long dry season and the relatively few natural springs. But a broken cistern was basically worthless. Cracked rock or crumbling masonry could hold only a small quantity of dirty water, or no water at all.

The contrast further is between living waters and broken cisterns. God is the fountain of living waters; in other words, in fellowship with God there is full satisfaction for all the capacities and desires of the soul.

In the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord communicated to His people through His prophet, Jeremiah (vs 1-2 and 4-5). The message was spoken as a rebuke to people who were no longer totally committed to their God. The key to remember is that the message was delivered to God’s chosen people, Israel.  Certainly the broken cistern lesson has significance for God's people today.

Scripture teaches that God does nothing unless He first reveals it to His servants, the prophets. “Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing His purpose to His servants the prophets.” Amos 3:7 (MEV)

God doesn't send prophets with a feel-good message. He does not send a prophet to us to tell us how well we're doing. 'Prophecy', which means to speak under divine inspiration almost always, includes some moral content and correction.

Five out of the seven churches in Revelation received words of correction, but the counsel was always the same—repent.  Repentance is one of predominant messages that prophets promote.

The prophet comes to set up that which is upset. His work is to call into line those who are out of line! He is unpopular because he opposes the popular in morality and spirituality. In a day of faceless politicians and voiceless preachers, there is not a more urgent national need than that we cry to God for a prophet!  - Leonard Ravenhill

Jeremiah preached and lived in a day when the people of Judah, the southern portion of the nation of Israel, had turned away from the Living God to do their own thing. No longer were they devoted to the Lord or depending on Him to meet their spiritual needs.

Israel had turned away from the Fountain of living waters and were looking everywhere else for something to quench their spiritual thirst. They had dug cisterns of idolatry and immorality for themselves in the hopes that the fleshly pleasures of those sins would satisfy their needs. The people of Judah found that the cisterns of their own making were broken cisterns that could hold no refreshing water--not even a little bit! 

God pleads With Israel to repent. He gave the nation of Judah chance after chance to return to the Lord, but they turned farther and farther away. Before God reproves (chastises, disciplines, rebukes, admonishes, corrects) sinners, he pleads with them, to bring them to repentance. 

Today, God is pleading with us to repent!

Many people would prefer not to be confronted with the truth about America.  Most people tend to believe that we can “fix this country” or “make America great again” by getting the right politicians into power or by employing certain economic or social reforms.  But the reality of the matter is that our problems go far deeper than that.  A moral collapse is eating away at the foundations of our society like cancer.  

Unfortunately, fixing moral deterioration is far more difficult than switching out political parties, because it is in the hearts of hundreds of millions of individual Americans.  Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is more deceitful than all things and desperately wicked; who can understand it?”  And most people don’t want to hear anything about a “moral collapse”, because most people like to think more highly of themselves, yet the Apostle Paul teaches in Romans 12, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sound judgment, according to the measure of faith God has distributed to every man.” Romans 12:3 (MEV) And if we are honest with ourselves, we see the evidence of this moral collapse all around us every day. So, what caused so many people to turn away from God’s standard of morality? Again, Has America changed her God?

This country was founded on the premise that we were a "nation under God indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."  However the age of secularism has come and it has infiltrated and changed the mind-set of this nation. God’s sovereignty and His very existence is questioned and doubted by many today.  Sadly, our nation has turned from the Fountain of living waters to the cisterns of secular humanism. The philosophy or nonreligious lifestance in particular to the belief that humanity is capable of morality and self-fulfillment without belief in God. A belief that as individuals we can set the terms of his or her own life. But, Jesus tells us that apart from Him we can do nothing.  “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who remains in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit. For without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 (MEV)

Our nation has condoned the creation of cisterns which deny God and the teaching of the Bible.  Regardless of how much so-called freedom is offered from any one of these self-made, complete fulfillment and satisfaction can never be obtained apart from the Fountain of living waters.

What happens to our sense of sin when God's standards seem no longer to be valid? Take a look at our global society—its violence, sexual immorality, greed, stealing, and lying, horrible diseases, rampant fraud, massive distrust, and misery. Why is it like this? “Where there is no vision, the people perish; but happy is he who keeps the teaching. Proverbs 29:18 “Where there is no revelation [divine vision], the people cast off restraint; but happy is he who keeps the law”  The New International Version (NIV) translation states it this way, Where there is no revelation, [divine vision] people cast off restraint; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.”  Unfortunately many, including Christians, have fallen into this deception

2 Timothy 3:1-5 says, “Know this: In the last days perilous times will come. 2 Men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 without natural affection, trucebreakers, slanderers, unrestrained, fierce, despisers of those who are good, 4 traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, 5 having a form of godliness, but denying its power. Turn away from such people.”

Only God Himself can quench our spiritual thirst. Jesus said, “On the last and greatest day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38-37  fountain

The church and our nation, desperately need to hear "the voice of one crying in the wilderness" to awaken, convict and restore our nation to God’s righteousness.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today, and forever.” Hebrew 13:8

Published by Dr. A. Francine Green