The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), July 29
Adam and Eve are born with needs: aesthetic, physical, relational, and spiritual. God meets each of those needs in the garden of Eden. The garden is beautiful and plentiful, and they walk with God in its midst. Adam and Eve experience these same needs after the Fall.
Though life becomes more difficult after the Fall, God anticipates and meets the couple’s every need, including salvation. God promises Eve a Seed who will defeat the serpent, and He covers their nakedness with the skins of an animal. Abel comes to God His established way, while Cain forsakes God’s way for his own.
The nation of Israel continues in Cain’s tradition of forsaking God. Throughout their history they make decisions based on what they see instead of what God said and allow their appetites to rule them instead of God’s Word. Israel demonstrates her brokenness through deceit, theft, murder, and sexual sin. Idolatry becomes a settled characteristic as they forsake the Living God and rely on other nations to defend them.
The LORD summarizes Israel’s sin:
“They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that cannot hold water” (Jeremiah 2:13).
God has demonstrated His goodness in the well-designed garden of Eden. Later, the LORD gives Israel a land they have not purchased, houses they have not built, and fields they have not cultivated, yet they forsake Him.
Just as Adam and Eve and the nation of Israel forsook the Lord, in spite of His goodness (Jer. 2:5), so forsaking God characterizes many today:
- Decisions are made not by prayer and in faith but by sight and undisciplined desire; therefore anxiety drives people to slake their spiritual thirst at broken cisterns that do not produce living water.
- Relational and social brokenness abound on every street and in every church.
Those in the West may not bow to carved idols, but idols fill garages, living rooms, closets, businesses, and banks. These “broken cisterns” cannot supply the truest need that every heart desires—to drink living water.
Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (2 Kings 21; 22:1-2; 2 Chron. 33; 34:1-7; Jer. 1; 2:1-22):
Manasseh reigns over Israel for 55 years. Most of those years are spent worshiping idols, until he is carried off to Babylon. He humbles himself before the LORD, and the LORD brings him back to the land of Judah. How does this impact his leadership in Judah?
Describe the reign of Manasseh’s son Amon and his grandson Josiah.
Describe the ministry to which God called Jeremiah.