The Unsatisfied – Proverbs 30:16

Proverbs 30:16" The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough."

These are the three things that are never satisfied and of which four say it is not enough. This verse illustrates the urge in mankind for satisfaction. Henry Ironside quotes Augustine of Hippo in his commentary on this verse, "Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts will never be at rest, until they rest in Thee." Because of the fall of man into sin we have an urge to be satisfied with the wrong things that we think will satisfy when we were designed to be satisfied with a relationship with our Creator. This world can never satisfy. Only Christ can satisfy the longings of our heart.

The word "grave" comes from the Hebrew word "Sheol" which is also translated as "hell." It refers to the world of the dead. Hell is a real place that will eventually be cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev. 20:14). From Scripture we learn that there were two regions of hell, paradise and hell with a great gulf between the two (Luke 16:19-26). When Jesus died on the cross he descended down to hell and led captivity captive (Eph. 4:8-10). He took the paradise portion of hell of the OT saints and led captivity captive. He took those in paradise and took them to heaven to be with Him. Interestingly, Solomon notes that, hell and destruction are never full, they are like the eyes of man that are never satisfied (Prov. 27:20).

The second thing that is never satisfied is the barren womb. A woman, especially back in Bible times, wanted to have children. To not have children was looked upon as a disgrace. Today a woman feels incomplete if she has not had a child of her own. As a guy I do not understand this, but God’s Word says it. God has placed this desire to have children in every woman, and when it is unfulfilled there is a void. God has especially equipped women to nourish and care for children. This idea goes hand in hand, with being a keeper of the home which is high priority item on God’s agenda for a wife (Titus 2:5). My Mom quit her job as a nurse to take care of me and rest of my six siblings and homeschooled all of us till we all graduated from high school. She said she never regretted quitting her job and found great fulfillment in being a keeper at home.

The third thing that is never satisfied is the earth’s thirst for water. Maybe the only time it may have been somewhat satisfied is during Noah’s flood, but even then it drank it up and the dry land appeared again (Genesis 7-8). Praise God, we will never have a worldwide flood again because of God’s covenant with us in Genesis 9:8-17.

And finally, the fourth thing that is never satisfied is the fire. The fire will keep burning as long as it is given the fuel to burn.

These four things, the grave, the barren womb, the earth, and the fire, illustrate the insatiable desires of our own hearts that cannot be satisfied with the finite. We can only be satisfied with the Infinite, God Himself. It is only when we, the finite, quit seeking to fulfill ourselves with the finite and look to the infinite God instead, that we will be satisfied. Are you satisfied? If not, with what are you trying to satisfy yourself that only God can satisfy? Seeking satisfaction outside of God is idolatry. Allow Him to be your joy, your peace, your love, your comfort, your satisfaction. God created us for His pleasure (Rev. 4:11). We will only find satisfaction as we fulfill the purpose for which God designed us, that is, to live for Christ.


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