There are two points I would like to make about this verse. First, those who have forsaken the Lord have exchanged that which they didn’t have to work for, the spring of living water, for that which they did have to work for – digging cisterns. The first is a gift from God, the second a result of their own effort. Living the Christian life is satisfying because it is the gift of God, not a result of our own effort. Salvation is a free gift from a gracious, loving God. We cannot earn salvation through our good works. It is given to us when we receive Christ as savior. Because we were created by God for the purpose of communion with God, God gave His Son so that we might have everlasting life. Many people try to earn favor with God through good works, only to discover that God already, in His love, reached out to them and had supplied the means of salvation through Christ.
Second, they have forsaken that which never runs dry, a spring which flows continuously with water, for that which not only runs dry, but which is actually broken and leaks water out continuously. Living the Christian life is satisfying because Christ is the living water. In John 4:13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” Jesus emphasizes the permanence of the water which He gives – if we drink of the water which He gives, we will never thirst. Jesus is the source of life and in relationship with Him we have continuous, never ending life. He not only gives life, He is life itself. Many people try to find satisfaction in life through their vocation, partying, relationships, volunteer work, accumulation of wealth, etc. But, they only find that whatever they had tried to create had a cracked foundation and leaked water. Their solutions were only temporary.
Living the Christian life is the most satisfying life which we can live. We were created for a relationship with God and only in that relationship can we find permanent satisfaction in our lives.