A Cistern or a Well?

The difference between a cistern and a well is that the first has no constant supply of water from within; the well of water, on the other hand, is supplied by its own hidden springs. No matter how dry the surface of the earth, the well yields its clear, cool, sparkling water for the refreshment of the thirsty.

A cistern is dug out of the rock, or cemented after having been excavated in the earth. Its one requisite is that it must not leak—not let out the water that is put in it. It must have no communication with the earth in which it is dug. A well on the other hand, must have such communication. As the water is drawn out of a cistern its supply runs low; the more we draw from a well the fresher we keep the water. It flows perennially.

Which are we—wells or cisterns? "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life," says our Lord (John 4:14). In the heart of the true believer is implanted this well of water supplied through carelessness or worldliness, we allow the well to become choked, but at the bottom the spring is always there.

A cistern of human righteousness—yes, "broken cisterns which can hold no water"—such is the natural man. At the time of greatest need his cistern is dry. Thank God for the well of living water!


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