Bruce Collins, Evangelist

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Should’ve had a V8!

Meditation for the week of October 23, 2011

"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns–broken cisterns that can hold no water.  (Jeremiah 2:13)

Some time back V8, a tomato based drink, had an ad where the punch line was, “I should’ve had a V8.”  The person saying that had drunk something much less healthy and satisfying.  So by drinking the drink that appeared better, they missed out on the health benefits and the satisfying taste of the drink that would have been good for them.  I have kidded my wife after an expensive meal in a good restaurant with a similar thought.  I tell her I could have had a McDonalds.  I would have enjoyed it more and it would have cost a great deal less.

Israel as a nation had made similar choices.  They saw the worship of the gods of the land as being more “fun” and “liberating” than the worship of Jehovah.  Even though they had been greatly blessed by the only true and living God, they still found the “grass on the other side of the street” to be greener and more attractive.  As a result they entered into the pagan worship of gods who are not gods at all, and in doing that they offended the One who loved them and had the power to bless them.  They could have had a rich satisfying life with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; but instead they opted for a lifestyle that ultimately was self-destructive.  Pagan lifestyles are sensual and attractive to the flesh; but people involved in them can be cruel if Jezebel, king Ahab’s wife, is any indication.  Jezebel cruelly murdered a man so Ahab could have his vineyard.   She massacred the prophets of the Lord in order to promote her Baal worship.  The Lord called her an immoral woman. 

Israel as a nation gave up that which would have been a blessing for something that was not satisfying, did not prepare them for an eternity with their God, and which ultimately cost them their place in the land God had given them.  I wonder when they were in captivity in Assyria and then in Bablyon if they realized that they “shoul’ve had a V8”.  That is, they should have drunk at the fountain of living waters like the woman of Samaria did in John 4, rather than drinking from broken cisterns. 

We often do the same thing.  Young people and older ones as well look down the path of righteousness which they think is required of Christians who trust in the Lord and find themselves wondering if they really want that lifestyle.  Of course, some of those lifestyles are still self-centered self-willed lifestyles where the Christians are not modeling true Christian character at all.  However, even when Christians are acting like Christians should, the young people often feel that they just don’t want anyone telling them what to do.  They don’t want to be bored with life and they want to “get ahead” and “have fun.”  What they don’t realize is that most of us who are trying to please the Lord are “getting ahead” and we are “having fun.”  Our treasure is not down here, but rather it is in heaven.  So we don’t spend money like some can, and we don’t have fun that gives us a headache when we wake up the next morning; but we do have rich satisfying lives.  Even those who were and are being martyred for their faith in Christ, seem to be more than satisfied with the path the Lord has laid out for them.  The reason we find our lives satisfying is because we no longer live for the pleasures of sin that last for season, but we live for the pleasure of displaying the glory of the Lord’s grace thoughout the endless ages of eternity.

What I am saying may not make sense to those who believe that this life is all there is.  Nor will it make sense to those who think that they can turn this earth into a heavenly kingdom during our present age.  Of course that will not happen until the Lord sets up his actual physical kingdom on earth.   But it makes sense for those of us who have found that life is short and that eternity is long.  Those of us who have tasted the living water that satisfies forever would never trade that for a life of partying and fun down here.  Nor would we trade it for the self-centered religious worship of people who have a legal religion where they tell others how to live rather than telling others Whom to love.  These know nothing of a liberating relationship with the Lord that makes us want to live a life that is pleasing to Him.

Those who miss out on the blessings that the Lord offers and who wake up in eternity in torment because they made a bad trade in this life will surely wish that in a figurative sense they had drunk a V8.

Bruce Collins

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