My people have done two evil things: They
have abandoned Me—the fountain of
living water. And they have dug for themselves
cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
Each week around the world, 10 million Girl Guides
(or Girl Scouts) learn how to cook, knit, survive
in the wilderness, and generally become good
citizens. A girl becomes a Guide by making the Guide
Promise—a pledge of duty to God, country, and the
In recent years, there’s been discussion over the
wording of the Promise, as a Canadian case illustrates. A
Canadian Guide once pledged to “do my duty to God,
the Queen, and my country.” In 1994, this was changed
to “be true to myself, my God/faith, and Canada,” and in
2010 it was revised to “be true to myself, my beliefs, and
Canada.” The changes reflect an understandable desire
to be inclusive in a pluralistic society. But one can’t escape
the obvious: a promise to self has replaced a promise to
God. I often wonder how God feels about such headlines.
“What did your ancestors find wrong with Me?” God
once said through the prophet Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:5).
In her youth, Israel had been devoted to God—eager to
keep her bridal promise; valiantly following Him through
the wilderness (vv.2-3). Then the love cooled. Israel no
longer cared for God, nor did her priests, scribes, and
prophets (vv.6-8). In fact, she replaced Him with human engineered
replicas (vv.11-12). Her promise to God was
transferred to an idol.
“They have abandoned me—the fountain of living
water,” God cried out in poetic fashion. “And they have dug for themselves
cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!” (v.13). Here’s the tragic irony:
Self-made replacements for the Source of life can only leave us dry and empty.
The change in the Canadian Guides’ Promise is symptomatic of a broader
trend. When spiritual thirst overwhelms us, may we pledge ourselves again to
the God of our youth. —Sheridan Voysey
Read Jeremiah 31:9 for a
picture of a thirsty people
returning to God. Read
John 4:10-14 for a fresh
vision of Jesus as living
When have you thirsted
for God? How are you
seeking Him today?