"There are three things that will not be satisfied, four that will not say, 'Enough.' Sheol, and the barren womb, earth that is never satisfied with water and fire that never says 'Enough'"
Agur continues the thought link from the first part of verse 15 to this second section. Verse 15 deals with a type of fool that is a leech; someone who is never satiated with the desire that they want so desperately. Even when they obtain what they want, the desire is not quieted. This idea is carried out further with the ideas in this verse. There are four things that are insatiable: First, Sheol or the place of the dead. It never says: full, we are not accepting any more today. Second, the barren womb. The woman who wants to have children but cannot have them is not filled up holding other people's children nor is filled up by all the material possessions she can amass. Third, the sandy soil that is so plentiful in Palestine which drinks water but is never saturated. Fourth, fire that never goes out as long as there is fuel. It just keeps burning.
There are four examples of insatiable appetites that many believe are illustrations of what happens when a person gives into desire and becomes the leech of verse 15. It is also possible that the barren womb is being highlighted because it is the only human element in this list of four.
Interestingly enough, our culture is in the process of trying to produce women who accept the barren womb as a good thing for women. Our culture is trying to suggest that the normal, natural, and God-given role of a woman as mother is somehow beneath a woman and should not be pursued. There is only a small window of time in which a woman can give birth to that which will satiate this need within most women. Our culture is trying to convince women to forgo this wonderful role of motherhood and become as career and power hungry as a man. It is trying to convince a woman that she can always go back and have a child later. It is now common for women who have bought this worldly feminist thinking to discover that they deeply want to have children of their own and that they cannot have them. This becomes, in the heart of many women, a secret anguish because they chose to believe a lie that all these others things would make up for not having children.
I want to say to many women who are being told that they need to focus all their goals on a career and put off marriage and children that whenever culture is telling a person to value something different from what Scripture tells us to value, it is the culture that is wrong and not the Scripture. In this case there is a wonder and fulfillment in having and raising children. Yes, there is great sacrifice but there is fulfillment that cannot come through possessions and positions. Do not blindly accept the ideas of your culture. Check them against the Scriptures. It is not wrong for a woman to develop the skills that God has given her, nor is it wrong for her to have a career. But if she ignores the fulfillment that comes from children and family, she robs herself, her family, and society as a whole.
If you create within yourself an unquenchable desire because you ignored what God has said – this is foolishness.