“And now what hast thou to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of Sihor?” Jeremiah 2:18
By sundry miracles, by diverse mercies, by strange deliverances Jehovah had proved himself to be worthy of Israel’s trust. Yet they broke down the hedges with which God had enclosed them as a sacred garden. They forsook their own true and living God, and followed after false gods. Constantly did the Lord reprove them for this infatuation, and our text contains one instance of God’s expostulating with them, “What have you to do in the way of Egypt, to drink the waters of the muddy river?”—for so it may be translated. “Why do you wander afar and leave your own cool stream from Lebanon? Why do you forsake Jerusalem to turn aside to Noph and to Tahpanhes? Why are you so strangely set on mischief, that you cannot be content with the good and healthful, but would follow after that which is evil and deceitful?” Is there not here a word of expostulation and warning to the Christian?
O true believer, called by grace and washed in the precious blood of Jesus, you have tasted of better drink than the muddy river of this world’s pleasure can give you. You have had fellowship with Christ. You have obtained the joy of seeing Jesus, and leaning your head upon his chest. Do the trifles, the songs, the honors, the merriment of this earth content you after that? Have you eaten the bread of angels, and can you live on husks? Good Rutherford once said, “I have tasted of Christ’s own manna, and it has put my mouth out of taste for the brown bread of this world’s joys.” I think it should be so with you. If you are wandering after the waters of Egypt, O return quickly to the one living fountain. The waters of the Nile may be sweet to the Egyptians, but they will prove only bitterness to you. What have you to do with them? Jesus asks you this question today—what will you answer him?