Proverbs 30:15-16 – Hungry as a Leech

leechSome writers approach today’s study in Proverbs with a broad sweeping, allegorical interpretation.  I will leave the speculations to others and read Solomon’s proverbs as simple, common sense observations inspired by godly wisdom.

The “Leech” is the subject of Proverbs 30:15 and is a symbol of four things that have a voracious appetite in Proverbs 30:16.

Proverbs 30:15 – “The horseleach [lit. leech; bloodsucker] hath two daughters, crying, Give, give. There are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough:”bloodsucker

The Leech, stated in verse 15 as the “horseleach”, is a wormlike freshwater creature, a bloodsucker that attaches itself to a host [frogs, fish, turtles, alligators and yes, an occasional human].  My first sighting of leeches was at a youth camp in northern Michigan.  Children from 1st Baptist Church in Sterling Heights, MI were merrily swimming in a freshwater lake when I began hearing blood-curdling screams (no pun intended) and kids running out of the water with leeches attached and feeding! Yikes! The nature of the leech is to attach itself to a host until it is full—tell that to a screaming child!

Solomon, using the leech’s insatiable appetite for blood, states there are four things like the leech whose appetites are never satisfied.

graveyardProverbs 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.”

First, the Grave is never satisfied.  The looming reality of death has followed man from birth to his grave since Adam first sinned in the Garden of Eden.  Since the fall of man, the earth has become a mass grave that is never full or satisfied.

Proverbs 27:20 Hell and destruction are never full…”

1 Corinthians 15:21-22 – “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22  For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”

Second, the “barren womb” is never satisfied.  A longing to have children rests within the soul of woman.  Sarah longed for a son until God miraculously brought life to her womb and gave her Isaac.  Hannah prayed year after year for God to give her a son, promising to dedicate him to the Lord.  God heard and answered her prayer and gave her Samuel.

There are some women who remain childless, but who have the perfect qualities and maternal instincts of a godly mother.  Some women legally adopt children and make wonderful mothers.  I know and have known others who have remained childless, but have been a blessing to many children by their loving, maternal ways.

The “earth that is not filled with water” is the third entity never satisfied.  The deserts of the Middle East and the drought in America’s West are a testament that the earth and God’s creatures have an insatiable need for water.

The fourth element likened to the leech is Fire.  Solomon writes, “the fire that saithfire not, It is enough” (30:16).  The horrific appetite of a blazing wild-fire, consuming everything in its path is a frightening sight. Like the leech, the fire does not die until it has consumed everything.

Allow me a moment to return to the reality of death and the grave. You may never suffer the destruction of a wild-fire, a drought or the disappointment of a barren womb; however, we will all feed with our deaths the insatiable appetite of the grave.

Hebrews 9:27 – “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:”

Revelation 20:12, 15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works…15  And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.

Salvation-5The grave is never satisfied; however, God’s wrath and judgment are satisfied by the death and sacrifice of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Will you trust Christ as your Savior and receive His gift of salvation, confessing your sin and believing Christ was crucified for your sin, buried and raised from the dead?

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Copyright 2014 – Travis D. Smith

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