In the track titled, “Satisfied” from the hit Broadway musical Hamilton, the actress portraying Angelica Schuyler accurately diagnoses what would prove to be Alexander Hamilton’s fatal flaw: he will never be satisfied. If you don’t know the story (spoiler alert!), it is Hamilton’s constant discontentment that led to his unprecedented accomplishments but also to his untimely demise.
In today’s text, God pinpoints the problem at the heart of Israel’s persistent sin and rebellion:
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)
Israel was seeking satisfaction from sources that could never provide it. Not only had they forsaken their God, they were trying to find what only he could provide in places that could never deliver. It’s hard to draw water from a cistern that can’t hold any.
You and I still face the same temptation today. Where will you look to find deep, lasting satisfaction? Your career? Your relationships? Your bank account? Your image? Anything or anyone other than God, the Creator and Sustainer of all things, will prove to be a broken cistern–sure, it might hold a little water for a while, but it’s only a matter of time until it’s empty. And it’s hard to draw water from a cistern that can’t hold any.
Saint Augustine offers the perfect summary of our quest for satisfaction: “You have made us for Yourself and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.”