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Pastor: Bro. Bobby Clark
Faith Baptist Church
92 Walker St. POB 462
Crossville, TN. 38557
Ph. 931 707-0799
Visitors are always welcome and appreciated!
From The Pen To The Palace
In Luke 15 there is a story which has been preached untold times yet it never gets old. Let’s take a look at it this week and try to glean some fresh truths from it. This is commonly referred to as the story of the prodigal son and many think the word, prodigal, means one who leaves. But the true meaning of the word is one who is a spendthrift; one who is a waster. Countless times this message has been preached in order to appeal to the backslider to try to get him to repent and come back to God. I believe it can be used that way and not do any disservice to the scripture but the true application of this story is to the lost. At the beginning of this chapter Jesus teaches about the lost sheep. He then tells about the lost piece of silver and in chapter 16 He tells about the lost soul. So here, it stands to reason, that He is dealing with a lost son. I want to look at a few different things concerning this story as we look at from the pen to the palace.
The first thing we will see is the demand of the son. In verse 12 the youngest son made and unreasonable and selfish request unto the father. He said “Give me the portion of goods that falleth to me”. This request showed a lack of respect for his father’s authority. It was customary in that day to wait for the father to die, or get very feeble, before the inheritance was given. You can see the priority of the request in that all he cared about was self. His concern was all wrapped up in himself and no one else. There’s nothing more worthless or wasteful than living for self. Paul wrote in Philippians 2:3-4 “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things; but every man also on the things of others”. We are to look out for others and help them and care for them rather than focus on self. Then you will notice the impatience of the demand as he says; give me the portion that falleth to me. He wouldn’t wait for the proper time to attain the inheritance but he wanted it now. This is the way of the world. They want instant success and gratification. They want what they want, now. Children in these days get married and want what their moms and dads have but don’t stop to realize that mom and dad worked for years to get what they have. There is no patience in these dark days. As he asked for the inheritance the father granted the request and parted unto him and his older brother his living. I believe there are times God grants our request in order to reveal a lesson to us and teach us something.
After he received his inheritance he departed into the far country. This departure didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t just come out of the blue. But it had been brewing in his heart for some time, possibly years. There are young people thinking now; I can’t wait until I am able to get out of this house. As soon as I get old enough I am gone. I am tired of the rules and I would be better on my own. Our spiritual departure from God began the day we were born. We were born with a sinful nature from our father, Adam. David wrote in Psalms 58:3 “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies”. This just shows man’s sinfulness. James says in chapter 1 “But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin; and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”. We have all departed from the Godly path which He intends us to walk and have all fallen into a sinful condition.
Next, you see the degradation of the son. He left and went into the far country which represents the place of sin, far from the father’s house. As you look at his lifestyle you notice it was a wasted lifestyle. He wasted and threw away his inheritance. He wasted what his poor old father had worked hard, for years, to accumulate. After it was over, he had nothing to show for his spending. It was also a wicked lifestyle as he lived in riotous living. The elder son back on the farm had even heard of his ways as he accused him in verse 30 of devouring his inheritance with harlots.
Now look at the destitution of the son. Degradation always leads to destitution. The wasteful and wicked lifestyle left him with nothing. In verse 14 it says “When he had spent all”. He was empty. Not only were his pockets empty, his belly was empty along with his heart and character. He was also endangered. A famine hit the land. Famines are bad enough but especially to those who are destitute. His life was in peril because he may die from starvation or thirst. It was then he enslaved himself to a citizen of the country who sent him out into the fields to feed hogs; the lowliest and most demeaning job a Jewish person could do.
It was in the hog pen that the Bible says “He came to himself”. He saw his condition and he made a decision. He saw where he was and it made him sorrowful. Until the lost person sees their own lost condition, they will never get saved. Something must take place within the heart before they even begin to think about their position with God as lost. As he was in the hog pen he remembered what all the servants had back home. He thought about the good times back home. It sure seemed better now than it did when he left. He listened to the pull and allurement of the world to give him happiness and the world couldn’t keep it’s promise. As he remembered, he repented and returned to the father. True repentance is always followed by action. A man who is truly saved will walk a different way. He could have sat there until he died thinking of the father’s house and it would not have done him any good whatsoever. It was when he arose and began walking back home that he began to get help.
Now the story takes on a happier note as we look at the delight of both father and son. All the way home I believe the son rehearsed what he was going to say to the father. All the way back these words rung in his ears; “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants”. All the way back he muttered those words. Perhaps the devil taunted him and said “He won’t forgive you”! “You may as well go back and feed those hogs for he will never forgive you for what you did”. When you are on the way home the devil will mock and taunt you as well dear friend. But while he was yet a great way off his father looked and saw him and ran to meet him and fell on his neck and kissed him welcoming him back home.
The son got part of his prepared statement out but the father in his great love stopped him in the middle of it and wouldn’t let him finish as we see the declaration of the father. He said to the servants around him; bring the best robe and put it on him. Take off the dirty rags he is wearing. This shows his true position as a son and not the servant he had reduced himself to be. Bring a ring and put it on his finger which shows authority and eternal possession. Put shoes on his feet and this signifies peace and safety for the rest of the journey. And lastly, bring the fatted calf and kill it and let us eat and be merry: for this my son was dead and is alive; he was lost and is found. This shows God’s unending provisions for his children. Even when we waste what God gives us He still has provisions aplenty for us to draw from. Should we waste what God gives us? Of course not but sometimes we do.
Have you ever been to the hog pen? I have. But I’m not there any longer. I made up my mind that I was going to the father’s house. There I’m loved and cared for. When you realize your condition in the hog pen, it is but a step to the palace!