Proverbs 30:15-16

The leech has two daughters:
    Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
    four never say, “Enough”:
16 Sheol, the barren womb,
    the land never satisfied with water,
    and the fire that never says, “Enough.”

Proverbs 30:15-16 ESV

In this passage, Agur uses the image of a leech to describe a negative characteristic or trait of a self-absorbed person; the person who only says, “Give me.” For this person, enough is never enough. “Give me,” he says. For this person, the focus is always self. “Give me,” he says. For this person the needs or supply of another is of no consequence. “Give me,” he says.

To make his point more clear, Agur uses a few more images of things that are never satisfied: the grave, the barren womb; the land in drought; and a fire.

The point: Don’t be like the leech. Don’t always say, “Give me.”

The True Love of Our Hearts

“Today the true love of your heart will be revealed by what you grieve and what you celebrate.”

Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies, April 28

Tripp goes on to say, “Our lives are shaped by grief and celebrations … Daily we are sad, mad, upset, or disappointed by something, and every day we are excited, happy, joyful, pumped or thankful for somethings. It’s at the intersection between sadness and celebration that the true love of our hearts is exposed.”

I recommend the above quotes and the remainder of that entry for your sober consideration. Below are the bibliographic details:

Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional. 2014. Crossway Publishers.

Proverbs 27:3

A stone is heavy, and sand is weighty,

    but a fool’s provocation is heavier than both.

Proverbs 27:3 ESV

My grandpa used to trick us kids by asking, “Which is heavier a 100 pound bag of feathers or a 100 pound bag of rocks?” Our automatic answer was “The rocks are heavier!” We were ticked because even as children we knew that rocks are heavier than feathers. Of course, we didn’t catch the additional information that indicated both weighed 100 pounds. The reason we didn’t catch that is because the image of a rock and feather side-by-side is so overwhelmingly obvious. The rock is heavier. No doubt about it.

Here, the writer uses two images that immediately connect with the reader. Who among us doesn’t know the heaviness of stones or sand? We all get it. What may shock the reader is that the fool’s anger or wrath is heavier than either stones or sand. But this is not something that can be verified on scales. It’s not as if you can ask the fool to put his anger on the scales to see how much it weighs.

The writer uses the metaphor to make the point of the weightiness of the anger of a fool. Let that sink in. Once that is settled, begin to figure out what is folly. Then, avoid that path.

Proverbs 26:4-5

Answer not a fool according to his folly,

    lest you be like him yourself.

Answer a fool according to his folly,

    lest he be wise in his own eyes.

Proverbs 26:4-5

These two verses demonstrate the frustration and complication of dealing with a fool. They also demonstrate the range of meaning of words. Here, the pivotal word is “according to.” The first verse means don’t become like the fool by talking in his ways. This reminds me of the saying, “Don’t get into the mud to wrestle with a pig. First, you will just get muddy. Second, the pig will enjoy it.” Guard yourself so that you don’t become a fool in the process of dealing with a fool.

The second verse demonstrates the pastoral heart of the writer. Here, he means, “Deal with the fool’s ideas, so that he is not mistaken that his ideas are wise.” We should try to never leave a fool under the mistaken notion that their folly is wisdom. But, we must be careful in how we do this.

Bible History and Geography

Some ask why I’m so much into the history and geography of the Bible. “What’s the big deal?” they wonder. Jim Monson, author of Regions on the Run, answers this question succinctly:

The Bible is not merely history; it is ‘purposeful’ history for it teaches us how to live. Its message is embedded in the everyday lives of people, most of whom lived in a small area called the land of the Bible.

Jim Monson, Regions on the Run, p. 5
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