Walk in Wisdom – Gleanings from the Scripture
From: Prov. 30.15-16 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”.
The book of Proverbs was written for the young. Young men more specifically. It is the instruction of a Father to his son in how to live life wisely. It is meant to give foundations for building a Biblical world view. This passage in particular, verses 15-30, provide the reader with 5 master lessons for living sanely in a world that is gone mad. Where some things just don’t make sense. How are we to navigate in places where there are no stable or remaining landmarks? That is what our author is after here. 5 master lessons, that once learned and come to grips with, will enable us to grapple with life apart from some of the distractions which can and DO completely consume the lives of many.
Our first lesson is in the two verses cited above. And it is a must for us to master. Let me summarize it: “There are unfillable voids in life.” Here, the author likens them to some other things in life we can plainly see display this reality.
Sheol – the grave. There is no such thing as death being “full.” Death is an inevitable which does not have a quota. There is no place where it stops in natural terms. No life is ever spared its touch. We need to know this. While dietary supplements, liposuction, Botox injections, hyperbarric sleep chambers and multiple plastic and cosmetic surgeries cost Americans alone 9.4 BILLION dollars in 2003, trying to deny its reality. Death itself cannot be satisfied. One day, by Christ’s intervention it will finally be put to death itself. But not yet. Death cannot be avoided by any apart from Christ’s return. We must live life in the view of this reality.
The barren womb – the childless mother never loses her ache. She knows she is made for motherhood. It is instinctive. And the sorrow which attends those who for whatever reason are prevented from it is deep and abiding. Some live their entire lives with such inward pain.
The land never receives enough water so as to say “I’m full”. Even floods are all diminished at some point.
And fire, a wonderful Biblical metaphor for lust, is never full either. You cannot put out a fire by feeding it just “one more” log.” Though so many seem to think “just one more look at a pornographic picture, and I’ll be satisfied.” Its a lie.
The bottom line is this beloved: There are unfillable voids in life, and these then are also in the souls of men. Your own wrestling with desires for the things of the world – may in fact never go away. Desire for certain status in the eyes of others or even yourself. Desire to have THINGS, material goods. The desire for experiences – sexual and otherwise. The battle against these is not to be fought by trying to achieve some level of not wanting any more. The victory over them is in learning that they do not HAVE to be satisfied at all. That they can be left to starve. And it is only when a fire is starved of its fuel that it finally ceases to burn and consume. Those looking to put an end to sin’s dominion, must be willing to face the inward gnawing after those lusts for a season. A gnawing which will be rekindled, like the coals of a fire kicked and blown upon once again. Who knows what will inflame them once more. We must be aware this will be the case, or we will be shocked, dismayed and caught off guard.
This too explains why the world works the way it does. Why do killers kill? Rapists rape? Thieves steal? Adulterers seek more affairs? Pagans multiply their gods? Stars seek yet more fame? The wealthy more money? There are unfillable voids in the souls of men. Don’t be shocked. In solving crimes, one rubric is always to “follow the money”. Someone has a hunger. Someone has a “need”. At the root of every action, is a striving after some sort of satisfaction. Whether it is a lust for power, love or any other thing. What we perceive will satisfy us most, is what we will pursue. This is how the entire human race runs.
When we see the unexplainable actions of some – remember this passage. Columbine. The Boston Strangler. Imperialism. Corporate espionage. Or as yesterday’s headlines reported on the trial of Alexander Pichushkin, responsible for the murders in Russia of at least 60 people (he was striving for 64) : He told the court: “that he collected the souls of his victims after falling in love with killing.” Trying to fill some unspeakable void within.
No wonder then, we must learn this lesson. Or we will never be able to navigate the waters of our own souls, or some of the great tragedies of life. And how then, we must take seriously the words of Scripture that remind us: “in your presence there is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16.11) Only in Christ, can there be the end, the satisfaction our souls truly desire and need.