The bloodsucking leech has two daughters—“Give!” and “Give!”
Three things are never satisfied. Four never say, “Enough!”:
the grave, a barren womb,
a land that never gets enough water,
a fire that does not say, “Enough!” (Proverbs 30:15-16 GW)
(Context—Proverbs 30:1-16 GW)
Have you ever wanted something so much you’d do most anything to get it? And when you got whatever it was you wanted, you realized it wasn’t enough? It didn’t satisfy the want inside you.
This is the reality of greed and lust—not just sexual lust—but a deep longing that never seems to be satisfied. It’s the unrestrained self—like a bottomless pit of want.
This sense of dissatisfaction is not because of a lack of something but abundance. This abundance is the entrance to the bottomless pit of want. It sets a person up to want more but it never brings satisfaction.
As mentioned in a previous devotional, the use of numbers and lists in the book of Proverbs provides helpful ways to remember various truths. In these two verses, our list moves in a progression from two to four but with one theme—never satisfied.
2 daughters—Give and Give more
It begins with the descriptive picture of a bloodsucking leech. Those worm-like, slimy creatures whose flat undersides attach to a person’s skin with their other side rounded which grows more round as blood is sucked from their host victim.
Not a flattering description of someone who attaches themselves to another for provision and sustenance! But it makes the point in a graphic way.
Not everyone who begs is a leech. But some people only seem to know how to take and never give. The more given to them, the more they want and take. One Bible version says this—
A leech has twin daughters named “Gimme” and “Gimme more.” (Prov 30:15 MSG)
When a person develops a dependency on another or others, it becomes more and more difficult for them to let go of their dependency. It doesn’t matter what form the dependency takes—they will always want more. In some ways it’s like an addiction.
Isn’t it interesting how lottery winners are sought after by friends and family, and others who have all sorts of advice on how to handle the winnings. Some are more subtle than others but a lot of hands are extended in expectation of the lottery winner sharing their wealth.
Wealthy people always seem to have at least one if not a few family members who feel entitled to the family wealth. This is a universal reality down through the ages.
Government assistance is essential for many people to survive. No question. But it can be taken advantage of and milked in many ways. This type of dependency becomes a way of life and livelihood and the system often discourages efforts to be weaned from this dependency.
It’s not all about leeches though. Four other examples are given of this unsatisfied state.
The grave is a reminder of the universal reality of death. As many have said before—no one gets out of this life alive. None of us escapes the grasp of death. Even cryogenics happens after death, well…unless someone volunteers to be frozen alive.
Although the grave—death—isn’t just for the old. I’ve presided over too many funerals and memorials of people who died too soon. But as we age, the finality and reality of death claiming life presses into our psyche more and more.
A barren womb
A woman who longs for a child of her own bears a heavy weight. There are no easy answers. Only well-meaning platitudes that fall flat and increase the harsh longing of a mother-to-be.
There are stories in the Bible that illustrate this, such as Sarah—Abraham’s wife who was to bear the son of a man called the father of many nations (Gen 17:1-8; 15-20). Hannah’s story, the mother of Samuel the prophet, illustrates the heaviness of a barren womb even more so (1 Sam 1:1-18).
Land and water
Farmers, gardeners, even firefighters know how thirsty the ground is for water. Water either soaks in too fast or not at all, or runs off before it can soak in and satisfy the needs of plant and tree growth.
Keep in mind this is a picture. It illustrates something of life from nature. Think of the different situations it might represent—flooding or drought, the cycle of seasons in relation to farming. Now, consider how this relates to your own life. Need a start? How about—you don’t miss the water till the well runs dry.
Fire brings us full circle. A close friend and firefighter told me this about fire years ago—as long as there is fuel and oxygen, the fire stays alive and consumes whatever is in its path. It’s never satisfied. It never says enough!
Anyone who has experienced a powerful fire firsthand—whether in a building or a forest—can attest to the fierce consuming power of fire. My wife and I have. It is hard to put the experience into words except to say—it’s fierce and powerful and indiscriminate in its destructive power.
The sense of not being satisfied only stops when we surrender it to God and ask for Him to rescue us. We may be able to dull it or try to avoid or ignore it but it doesn’t just go away because it’s embedded in us.
King Solomon understood this personally, as seen in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes.
This is why Jesus made so many personal invitations to come to Him. And He showed us the way of surrender in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:32-42) so we could be set free of this unsatisfied sense and be fulfilled in Him.
Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37-38 NIV)
Whatever dissatisfaction we might have will only be quelled when we surrender it to God and ask Him to rescue us. For the Lord desires to rescue and free us, and to fill us with contentment and life.
Are there ways you find yourself longing for something or someone that hasn’t been satisfied and leaves you wanting? Bring these desires, longings, and wants to the Lord and surrender them in prayer. Give them to Him in your heart and ask for His help.
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