2Pe 2:17-19 “These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever. For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”
I grew up and lived much of my life in rural areas. We often depended on a well for our water supply; drinking, cooking, bathing, etc. There was nothing more disruptive to our daily life than for the well to go dry. You are never able to be totally comfortable with a well that has gone dry, even if the water returns. It is also very alarming to dig a well and not get any water. Having a well dug is costly in both time and money. Can you imagine paying anywhere from $5000 to over $20,000 dollars for a well and come up with a dry hole?
If you’ve never had to rely on a well, you might think a well without water is not that big of a deal. I offer the above illustrations to try and give you an idea of the impact of a dry well. It is no laughing matter. Neither is it anything to shrug off with an “oh, well” (no pun intended) attitude. Those that are willfully disbelieving are wells without water. This statement tells us they do not acknowledge their Redeemer. Jesus has told us that those who entrust their spiritual well-being to Him will have rivers of living water flowing forth from the core of their being (Joh 7:38). Dry wells have no communion with this statement; they trust in themselves.
Not only are they a dry well, which is a serious issue by itself, but they are like clouds blown about by a whirlwind. If any of you have ever experienced a tornado, then you know how dark the sky can become, how great the noise is, and how devastating the tempest can be. The lesson here is that they don’t just impact one spot (like a dry well) but they wreak a wide path of havoc and despair, and darkness is with them.
Like the howling of a tempest, they spin fantastic stories of how great life is with them. They are empty and vain words, but fancy promises are alluring when they speak of that which we once sought after. The warning here is that we can be pulled back into this whirlwind if we are not anchored in the sure knowledge of Jesus. Again, this is not about losing our eternal salvation: there is nothing that can pluck us out of God’s hand. However, as has been noted before, we can lose the joy of His salvation (Psa 51:12).
Even if we have truly escaped (which indicates that we were once in this trap) from those that are actively engaged in deceitfulness concerning the things of God, we are warned against being pulled back into these things. We are being told not to listen to their words telling us how much they love and need us, or how highly we are esteemed in their cause. Nobody loves us like Jesus, and He alone is worthy of our complete devotion!
A dry well and a whirlwind may promise you freedom, but that promise is a lie. You can’t survive with a dry well. A whirlwind will beat and batter you then leave you far from where you started, even if you are not utterly destroyed by it. These are slaves to the ruin they bring with them. How can a slave promise freedom to anyone? If we are overcome with the deceits of false doctrines, then we are brought into servitude to that deceit. We have not experienced liberty, but rather are in the same bondage as those who are likened unto wells without water.
We hear a lot of concern from those who love the Lord about the condition of our congregations. True Christian values are scoffed at because of the great swelling words of vanity spouted by those who would have you think of them as Christian but are not. We are often evil spoken of because of them. Brethren, I beg you not to be ensnared by these. As the words of the hymn instruct us, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full on His wonderful face!” He is our Deliverer from the tempest and our Fountain that never runs dry. The health of the church is in Him!
May we trust Him in our storms and not be in bondage to any man!