...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). Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him! (Psalm 24:8).
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35).
When I was in college, I loved ramen noodles. Loved them. As in, I probably ate them 3 days a week. Cheap, filling, what more could you want? But, after college I got married. Little did I know that my culinary life was about to change. Once I ate the food my wife made for us, I never wanted ramen again. To this day (many years later) I’ve never touched the stuff. Why? Because I’ve tasted something much better.
In the book of Jeremiah, the prophet sums up the nature of Israel’s sins against God. He paints the picture like this: loving and worshiping God is like drinking from clean, clear, cool, flowing springs. The water is good, satisfying, and plentiful. In our foolishness, however, we’ve decided to try to forge for water on our own, away from the spring. We’ve gone to dry place, and dug a hole in the ground. The only water that comes to us know is dirty rain water and toilet run off. And yet, we insist on drinking that water, instead of the spring.
This is a picture of the foolish pride of sin. In insisting that we know better, we merely demonstrate the obvious fact that we don’t. In trying to satisfy our deep soul longings with sex, power, family, relationships, career, or any other created thing, we find ourselves thirstier than when we started. Like drinking saltwater at sea, the tainted water of sin leaves us worse off. How do we stop? How can we possibly change?
Answer: Taste something better.
I legitimately thought that ramen was great until I tasted something better. I also thought bologna sandwiches and those gross slices of “cheese product” were great too. That is, until I ate at my first five-star restaurant. What’s the point? We’ll always think that sin and self-control are great until we taste and see that Jesus is better. And the wonderful news is, he is.
Jesus invited his followers not just to listen to his teaching. He invited ingest the gospel—the good news of his life, death, and resurrection. He wanted his people not merely to be on his side. He wanted them to feast at the table of grace that he was preparing for them.
The simple question for us today is, are we? Have you experienced Jesus as better than anything and everything else? Have you found serving and knowing him more filling than sin? Or, even more to the point, have you found him better than the really good things in your life?
This I promise: until you and I find God to be better than all else, then all else will be better than God. If God is to be glorified in us, then we must be satiated in him.
Jesus, satisfy me today. Cause me to see my sin and selfishness as disgusting. Help me lose a taste for sin as I taste and see that you are better.
You are the satisfier of my soul. Help me to enjoy you so much that the idea of sinning against you becomes like a bitter taste in my mouth.
Thank you, Jesus, for being better than all the bad and all the good. Today, help me walk knowing this to be true.