Proverbs 27:20

Never Satisfied


1. This proverb consists of one simple analogy – but has countless applications.

2. Solomon likens the insatiable nature of death and destruction to the insatiable nature of the eyes of man. Both are never satisfied.

Hell and destruction are never full

1. Hell and destruction speak of the abode of the dead.

a. Hell: sheol (New Testament term is hades). Defined: The underworld; sometimes translated the grave; or the place where souls go at death.

b. Destruction: Abbadon
• Defined: Ruin; perish; destruction; or the place of perishing; ruin; and destruction; the nether world of the dead.
• In Rev. 9:11, Abbadon is the name of the demonic king of the bottomless pit.
• It is translated “grave” in Ps. 88:11.

c. Both terms (hell and destruction) are used almost synonymously in this passage as death and the ruinous effect of death.

2. Hell and destruction are never satisfied.

a. The point that Solomon makes about hell and destruction is that they are never satisfied.

b. They are personified here as if they had emotions… and they are craving more bodies and souls to devour.

c. Never satisfied defined: Never full; never have enough; never satiated; never satisfied; never sufficient.

d. Hell and destruction have been devouring the bodies of billions of human beings and animals for many, many centuries.

e. And yet, there are still millions more to devour. They are never satisfied.

f. In Prov. 30:16 the grave cries, “Give, give!” meaning, more, more!

g. With all the billions of bodies that have been buried, the abode of the dead is thirsty for more.

So the eyes of man are never satisfied

1. The “eyes of man” is a figure speech referring not to the eye, but what the eye sees.

a. The eye is used here as the organ which arouses lust.

b. It is so used in I John 2:16 – speaks of the “lust of the eyes.”

c. Ecc. 1:8 – the eye is never satisfied with things it has seen; the ear is never satisfied with what it hears. There is an insatiable desire to see and hear new things… go to new places… experience new things… more and more.

2. The Bible speaks of many areas where we are never satisfied.

a. Prov. 30:15-16 – speaks of four things that are never satisfied: The grave, the barren womb, the earth not filled with rain, and fire.

b. Ezekiel 16:28 – sexual desire is never satisfied. (as an illustration of spiritual lust and fornication)

c. Amos 4:8 – speaks of not being satisfied with water – the thirst was not quenched.

d. Hab. 2:5 – speaks of the cravings for alcohol that can never be satisfied. (“Who enlargeth his desire as hell, and is as death, and cannot be satisfied.”)

e. Ecc. 4:8 – The eye is never satisfied with riches
• The story is told of Mr. Rockefeller, one of the wealthiest men in the world at the time, who was asked how much money he would like to have. His answer: just a little more!
• Ecc. 5:10 – “He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.”

3. The sinful nature of man is never satisfied.

a. It seeks to sin yet more and more. There is no end.

b. You can’t just commit yourself to sin and spend a year trying to get it all out of your system. Sin doesn’t work that way.

c. Sin is never satisfied. It always wants a little more.

d. Adam and Eve had all the trees in the garden, but were not satisfied. They wanted just one more—the forbidden tree.

e. Cemeteries are full of men, women, and children who were never satisfied in this life.

f. No matter how much or how little, they died thinking that they did not have enough… enjoy enough… live enough… do enough.

g. That is a sad commentary on the human race.

4. Our old sin nature is never satisfied.

a. Hence, it cannot be controlled or fixed.

b. Lusts are not going to be satisfied by feeding them.

c. Nor are they going to die because we starve them. (asceticism)
• Col. 2:21 – attempts to “starve” our sinful lusts will fail (touch not; taste not; handle not)
• Col. 2:23 – they have an outward show of wisdom (man’s wisdom). They seem sensible, but don’t work.
• Col. 2:24 – Neglecting the body and its appetites will not satisfy the flesh… because (as Solomon states) the fleshly nature of man is insatiable.
• We can’t produce holiness by whipping the body; or starving the body. The physical body isn’t the problem.
• The problem is SIN – the nature. And it is insatiable.

d. That’s why we need the ongoing power of the Holy Spirit in our lives.

e. Self-discipline will never do. Death is the only solution.

f. We need to reckon ourselves to be DEAD to sin and all of its insatiable desires – and alive in new life with the power of the resurrection available.

5. But this term is also used to describe satisfaction from GOD.

a. Deut. 33:23 – satisfied with the blessings of the Lord.

b. Ps. 17:15 – satisfied with the presence of God!

c. Only when we focus our attention on the Lord will we be truly content and satisfied.

d. Our souls were created to be fulfilled and satisfied with the Creator. Nothing else will do.

e. The soul of man will have no rest until it learns to rest in the Lord.

f. When we come to Christ, we find REST for our soul.
• Rest implies not only peace but contentment.
• That anxious, unsettled state is over.
• All the things we longed for seem to fade away into insignificance in the light of the Person of Christ.
• All the things in life we hoped for… lusted after but never achieved are also seen as earthly and transitory against the backdrop of Christ… the spiritual realm and eternal things.
• The searching for some new thing to satisfy is over.

g. John 6:35 – “And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”