July 29, 2022
In the third part of our journey through the story of the prodigal, we arrive at a place where the tables turn for the younger son. He had thought about moving far away from his father. He had the audacity to ask his father for his share of the inheritance, and then boldly went to the far country to pursue reckless living.
However, now in verse 14, the Bible says, “And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”
It’s not an outlier that sin took everything he had. His riotous living had resulted in the loss of all of his inheritance. If you’re a Christian, you should think about that. You have been gifted to make an impact in this world for the kingdom of God. There are rewards for your faithful service waiting for you after this life, but if you spend your days toiling in sin, then you are being robbed of the great acts of service you could accomplish for God, and losing the inheritance that was supposed to be for you on the other side. In fact, the Bible says that you “should examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith.” (2nd Corinthians 13:5).
Sin will devour everything positive in your life and leave you with nothing, whether sinner or saved. The younger son spent everything he had and interestingly enough, his circumstances became quite desperate at this point.
A mighty famine came into the land and he began to be in want. The Bible says in verse 15, “he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.” He does the only thing he can do. “Joined himself” is an interesting phrase. It means he sold himself into slavery. To put even more emphasis on it, he sold himself into slavery to do the will of a Gentile. This would definitely rile up the audience that Jesus told this parable to since the Jews were under Gentile control by the Romans, but that’s another story.
What does this new master make him do? Feed pigs, which for a Jew, a pig is an unclean animal under the law (Deuteronomy 14:8, Leviticus 11:7). This was a detestable act for the younger son.
Doing that meant he was desperate to stoop to that level willingly. He was paid so little that he longed to eat the pig’s food (verse 16). To top it all off, “no man gave him anything.” Once his wealth was gone, so were his “friends”. Alone, in need, desperate, unhappy, and broken is the position of the younger son. It’s a familiar position to anyone who runs away from the Father and lives in sin.
However, there is good news coming. Next time, we will examine an important lesson for the younger son that anyone can apply to find salvation and restoration. Stay tuned.
November 28, 2022
November 25, 2022