Agree or disagree: there are many evils in the world.
Agree? I do. To a point.
Lately, though, I’ve been thinking about a passage of scripture that speaks of only two evils.
Just two evils. However, those two evils are responsible for mankind’s plight. Two evils powerful enough to enslave mankind with addictions, abusive behavior, adultery, and anything else that can steal, kill, or destroy the original purpose God had for his glorious creation.
Two evils which can push you and I beyond the edge of reason, past the counsel of dear and godly friends, into a place where shame, torment, and isolation are the normal way to act.
Not a good place to be.
“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)
Evil number one: “They have forsaken Me”
It began in the Garden, and has been happening ever since. The Creator God, the Fountain of Living Waters, has an endless supply of everything we could ever need. He’s wrapped it all up in the substitutionary work of His Son, Jesus Christ.
“For all the promises of God find their Yes in Him…” (2 Corinthians 1:20 ESV)
Everything that pertains to life and godliness is available to whoever takes the effort to “seek the Lord while He may be found”, and who “call upon Him when He is near” (Isaiah 55).
No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly before Him (Psalm 84:11).
Yet, in spite of that, we commit evil each time by choosing to reach for ANYTHING (or anyone) other than the Source of life.
We get into all kinds of trouble when things, people, money, entertainment, work, sex, etc., become more important to us than knowing and doing the will of God.
The forbidden fruit became more important to Adam and Eve than their Creator’s word.
Jesus told the disciples, in Mark chapter four, that “the desires for other things choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful.” The “other things” He referred to actually means “forbidden things”. Or, another way of saying it is, “the desires for the things not on God’s list of approved items”.
Adam and Eve chose the “other things” above the Word. That act brought devastation into their once perfect life.
And it does the same thing to our lives.
“They have forsaken Me…”
Evil Number Two: “Broken cisterns have been chosen”
Cisterns, broken wells; wells full of dirty, disease riddled water. Rather than drinking from the refreshing waters of God, we settle for the nasty waters of our own making.
We somehow think we know what’s best for us. We bristle at the mere suggestion that we may be poisoning our lives with every glass we drink.
But it’s true. Every drink from the well of “I know best” conditions our hearts, minds, and imaginations to go just a bit farther from the Fountain of Living Waters; accepting what was once perverse and atrocious behavior as the new norm.
And God calls it evil.
The first thing Jesus preached was, “Repent and believe the good news.” Change your mind, turn around, believe God’s right and you’re wrong (if there’s a discrepancy).
He’s still reaching out with that same, old message; turn around. Face the Creator, choose Him, and drink from the living waters.
Come to the fountain that never runs dry. Lay aside your evil ways and find real life.
There are two evils, but both can be cured by returning to the Lord.
“Seek the Lord while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:6-9 ESV)