Summary: Today we will look at a familiar passage of scripture commonly called the parable of the prodigal son but I feel a fitting title would be the parable of the good father. We see the selfishness of the two sons set off against the love of the good father.
Today we will be studying a fairly familar passage of scripture, familar to most of us as the parable of the prodigal son but most aptly called in my opinion the parable of the good father.
And he said, A certain man had two sons: 12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
God the Father, here represented as a human father, and mankind is represented by his two sons.
-The younger here said to his father give me what is mine. In the OT the custom was that the eldest son got 2/3 of the estate and the remaining 1/3 was divided amongst his other children.
-Notice the attitude, what is missing. There is no Sir or please, no sign of respect, just give it to me.
-Note the next line, it comes into play later. And it really is his living; this is how he supported himself.
And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
And he brought his own farm up the road from his father, no. And he moved into the next town and brought a villa, no. What he did to the far country. In this he is saying two things.
-He wants the father’s blessing he does not want the father. He does not want the fellowship, the presence just the presents. He was seeking the father’s hands and not his face. To take the blessings that he has given you for your own purpose can only end in a downfall.
-He wanted to get out from out the sphere of his father’s influence. Think about it, every year we get flooded in Florida for about a week or so every year with a bunch of college students for a thing called “spring break” and these kids go out and get drunk, do drugs, get their groove on, and act like wild animals. Why do they think they can get away with it? Because their parents are hundreds to thousands of miles away. There is no fear of retribution. When we get to the part where we feel we are far enough away, we don’t need to fear Him, God is not there, we can do what we want. We may have traveled to a point where we do not hear His voice, but it does not mean He is not there:
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? 8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. 9 If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; 10 Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. 11 If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. 12 Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.
-He wasted his substance with riotous living. He had his own version of spring break and he had a good time. For a season. Do you know the Bible speaks of the pleasure of sin for a season (that is in Hebrews 11:25 and how Moses choose life with Israel rather than life in the palace). The devil has to exploit the fact that sin feels good (if it did not, why would we have bothered to do it in the first place?), but he does not tell us there is a price to pay. And as R.G Lee said, there is a payday someday.
And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
-After he had spent all there was a famine. We remember from our study of Ruth that a famine is a judgment of God. God will not let unrepented sin go unpunished. God will give a time and a season for repentance. God is not willing that any should perish but all come to repentance.
-He was in want. All his so called friends were gone with the money. After all he gave to them, they left to go back to friends and families to take care of themselves.
-The problem with being in a far country is there is no family there. He needed to find help.
And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. 16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.