“Therefore you are to speak this word to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, “Every jug is to be filled with wine.”‘ And when they say to you, ‘Do we not very well know that every jug is to be filled with wine?’ then say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Behold I am about to fill all the inhabitants of this land—the kings that sit for David on his throne, the priests, the prophets and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem—with drunkenness! I will dash them against each other, both the fathers and the sons together,” declares the Lord. “I will not show pity nor be sorry nor have compassion so as not to destroy them.”‘” – Jer 13:12-14 (NASB)
God told Jeremiah to use this picture to illustrate the trouble that was coming on the nation, because of their persitence in rebellion, and their failure to follow His word,-they wouldn’t even listen to Him anymore.
The image of “everyone’s jug being filled” reminded me of the phrase “a chicken in every pot.”
First spoken by Henry IV of France, he said: “I want there to be no peasant in my realm so poor that he will not have a chicken in his pot every Sunday.” This phrase became part of the Hoover election campaign for President. It was the idea of general prosperity for all, certainly an effective campaign idea.
These ideas resonate with us, we want our pots full. We want prosperity and provision.
The problem is, the context of Jeremiah’s words, was judgement from God on a nation that was in rebellion.
So, God pronounced… “yeah, I’m gonna fill your jugs with wine, but your are going to become drunkards.”
It’s similar to the story of the children of Israel complaining about not having any meat when they were wandering in the wilderness. (Numbers 11) They wanted meat, and they were unhappy with God’s provision. So, God gave them meat. He sent quail. Not only did God give them meat to eat, he gave them so much meat, that it made them sick. One can only imagine the kind of sickness that over 3 million people gorging themselves on oily meat (for an entire month) might bring… I picture mass dysentery. Ponder that for a moment.
Isaiah wrote about a particular problem with the tribe of Ephriam:
And these also reel with wine and stagger from strong drink: The priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, They are confused by wine, they stagger from strong drink; They reel while having visions, They totter when rendering judgment. For all the tables are full of filthy vomit, without a single clean place. –Isaiah 28:7-8 (NASB)
In one case, the pots were full of chicken, so to speak, in another, the jugs were full of wine. In both instances sickness ensued. Isn’t it interesting that when we get the thing we crave, when it’s something other than the Lord Himself, it never works out, we are never satisfied, but rather, we are sick. Wine is symbolic of blessing and joy, meat is symbolic of God’s provision of food. Both are good, but neither should be craved as something that will satisfy us.
God revealed to Jeremiah what He intended for His people… “…I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’ – Jer 13:11 (NASB)
This is what God wants, not to fill our jugs, or fill our pots, but to fill our hearts with His Spirit. He wants to have a relationship with His people. When we find ourselves seeking anything other than that for satisfaction or enjoyment, we should know that it won’t work out for us. This is just a simple truth of life. Make the Lord the pursuit of your life, and you will be blessed. He is pursuing you, He’s been pursuing you for your whole life.
There is no greater source of contentment and joy than being filled with the Spirit of God!
Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart. –Psalms 37:4 (NASB)