“And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die” (Genesis 45:28).
When someone exclaims, “It is enough,” either a requirement has been satisfied, or a need has been fulfilled, or a limit has been reached. This phrase occurs seven times in the Old Testament (two different Hebrew words), and three times in the New (each a different Greek word).
In its first occurrence (in our text), Jacob is overcome with thankful emotion at the news that his beloved son, long given up for dead, is still alive. For a very different reason, Pharaoh later cried: “Entreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail” (Exodus 9:28).
“It is enough: stay now thine hand” (II Samuel 24:16; I Chronicles 21:15). This command of God to the death angel stopped the destruction of Israel following David’s sin of numbering his people. Later, when Elijah thought he could bear no more, “he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough” (I Kings 19:4).
On the other hand, “there are three things that are never satisfied, yea, four things say not, It is enough: The grave; and the barren womb; the earth that is not filled with water; and the fire that saith not, It is enough” (Proverbs 30:15,16).
In the New Testament, Jesus said: “It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord” (Matthew 10:25). As the time of His arrest was drawing near, He told His disciples: “It is enough, the hour is come” (Mark 14:41). When they produced two swords, “He said unto them, It is enough” (Luke 22:38).
There obviously are many types of circumstances which can lead one to cry: “Enough!” But “in the ages to come,” there will never be an end to “the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us through Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:7). We can never get enough of God! HMM