Prosperity and the Prodigal
“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.”
People try to make this sound really bad by saying “the son was disowning his father, he was wishing he was dead” but the way this reads to me is that the son was saying, he wanted the material blessings of his father more than he wanted the relationship with his father. How often do we ALL do that?
“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.”
Notice how he takes the material blessing of his father and distances himself from him. Because the blessing took priority in his heart it drew him away from his dad and as a result, into sin. Sometimes we seek Gods blessings so that we can squander it on our flesh. We use our Heavenly Father to finance our own adultery against His Son.
“And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.”
But as is so often the case. When the material blessing is gone, it’s gone, and now there’s the void... the consequences of the separation we’ve created for ourselves by pursuing the blessing over the Him that blesses.
“And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.”
The void and emptiness created then has to be filled. So we sell ourselves into slavery... we indulge in anything to mask the emptiness we feel. Sin... drugs, sex, alcohol, anything. But notice it’s all in the absence of his brother and father both. No one walking willfully in sin can ever find peace and comfort in the Fathers house in the company of other believers.
“And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.”
He would have filled himself with that which had no nutritional value, no substance, no way of satisfying. He was feeding on that which was never intended for him to eat. Much like the wayward son feeds on sin trying to get his fill on that which was never intended for him to eat.
“And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!”
But then he came to himself... at some point we realize that all that I pursued took me away from my Heavenly Father and was never His purpose for me to begin with. Honestly, it was a grace that He had denied me these things because He knew the propensity in my heart to elevate those blessings over Him and commit adultery on His Son.
“And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.”
He sought the father when he realized that satisfaction is not found in “the blessings of this world”, not hobbies, not careers, not family, not relationships, all of which are blessings, but never to be sought after for fulfillment... but rather in the Father. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you.”