4 Things That Never Say Enough
For the next several weeks, I’m writing a series of blogs on “4”: 4 Questions, 4 Things, etc. Read the entire series. It’s a way of offering concise commentary. Hope you enjoy this series of “4”!
The book of Proverbs is called the “wisdom book.” It represents collected wisdom of Solomon but also other writers as well. In Proverbs 30, we have a chapter written by Agur son of Jakeh.
There’s little known about this man. He starts Proverbs 30 by lamenting his weariness and his own lack of wisdom. The chapter is sometimes known as the “numbered sayings” because it contains references to two things, three things, four things, etc.
One of those is the numbered sayings of enough. Agur tells us,
The leech has two daughters: Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied; four never say, “Enough”:
Sheol, the barren womb, the land never satisfied with water, and the fire that never says, “Enough.” (Proverbs 30.15-16)
Agur uses metaphors to drive home the concept of “what is enough?”
Leeches will remain rooted in their host until they literally suck the victim dry. They have insatiable greed.
From there, Agur notes three things never satisfied and a fourth that never says enough:
- Sheol. The dark void seeks to lay claim to any and all to take them off the path. Death comes to all.
- An empty womb. Those who have gone through the heartbreak of infertility know the utter pain of never having a child. The womb is unsatisfied. (Note that there’s nothing wrong with wanting children; it is the over-desire that becomes the issue.)
- A dry land. It cracks. It is barren. Nothing grows. It can only be satisfied with water—rain—in order to have life again.
- And fire. It never has enough. Fire has to have oxygen to burn. When ignited, it must consume. Without something to consume, it dies.
In each picture, Agur is trying to teach us the power of the heart that is always craving, never satisfied, never content.
I’m afraid that, for many, life might be described as the great unhappiness. We are travelers through a barren land with never enough. We are never content and always desiring more. Agur uses these vivid pictures to question, at least, our cravings and, perhaps, to move us to a place of contentment.