What Does Rocco Want?

Series: Proverbs

by Dan Kunkle July 11, 2014 Scripture: Proverbs 27:20

Proverbs 27:20

Sheol and Abaddon are never satisfied,
    and never satisfied are the eyes of man.

In the 1948 Humphrey Bogart classic, Key Largo, the Bogart character says to the gangster, Rocco, played by Edward G. Robinson, “What does Rocco want?” Rocco is not the sharpest knife in the drawer and he has difficulty answering the question. Bogart helps him out by saying, “Rocco wants more.” Rocco finds this helpful and intones, cigar in teeth, “Yeah, yeah, Rocco wants more.”

So it is with Sheol and Abaddon, the place of the dead. No matter how many died yesterday, there will be more who will die today. The grave is insatiable. One might refer to this earth as the land of the living, but in truth, we live in the land of the dying. This is a sobering enough thought in itself, but the writer of Proverbs goes further. The human heart (here represented by the eyes) is like death. It is never satisfied. It graves more. More what? It hardly matters. More wealth. More popularity. More fun. More friends. More affirmation. More time. More pleasure. More power. The eyes of man are never satisfied, like death is never satisfied.

I dare say that we deceive ourselves if we claim to be free of such craving. We sugar-coat it. We excuse it. We may claim that we only want more for the benefit of others, our children perhaps. We may claim that we only want it for the Church. Still, it is a very rare human heart that can truly say that it is content in whatever circumstances, whether lacking or having plenty (Philippians 4:11).

Is there a solution to such deep-seated hunger? The answer is not to gird up one’s loins and purpose not to want. The answer is not a Hindu or Buddhist renunciation. The answer is not a cavalier post-modern “whatever.” The solution is a radical redirection of the content of the want. The promise found in Psalm 37:4 that the LORD “will give you the desires of your heart” is not a promise to satisfy your sinful cravings. It is not Prosperity Gospel. Quite to the contrary, the promise is that for those who will delight themselves in the Lord, God will give them different desires. Desires not for wealth, or popularity or power, but desires to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing in the fellowship of his suffering (Philippians 3:1).

Jesus came not to do his own will, but to do the will of the Father who sent him (John 6:38). His desire, his delight, was for the will of the Father and not for his own (Matthew 26:39). And so there is something of a great irony here. The solution to the insatiable craving of the human heart for more is not craving less. The solution to the insatiable craving of our sinful hearts was the uncompromising craving of the One who came to do the will of the Father. His passion (Passion) is the solution to our passions. Rocco wants more. What do we want? We sang it a few weeks ago. More love to Thee O Christ. More love to Thee.