The Runaway – Part II
Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. (ESV) – Luke 15:13-16
The younger brother buys the lie that the far country is better than the father’s house and squanders away his wealth in reckless living. This is the equivalent of Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber selling the van and buying the scooter to drive to Aspen.
What we see in the passage is that sin is not just deceitful, but that sin is destructive.
Sin is Destructive
One of the things that sin does is that it blinds you to the future or from thinking about the consequences of your decisions. Sin demands immediate gratification. The younger brother didn’t plan accordingly, so when famine arose he found himself in trouble. He had already spent everything because he hadn’t been thinking about the future. His only concern was the present, which ultimately put him in a compromising situation.
14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. – Luke 15:14
We’ve all seen how not being thoughtful about where we’re headed can get us into trouble. It’s that big paper that you have due in school, but instead you have a burning desire to all of a sudden clean your room. It’s the work project you have to finish, but instead you find yourself on a two hour “break” watching cat videos on YouTube. Yes, congratulations your room has never been more spotless, but you still have a paper to write. Oh wow, those cat videos really got you farther on your project that’s due at 8am tomorrow. Good job. Sin has a similar numbing effect. We don’t think about how this decision might affect us later or about the consequences.
Sin has a way of making us numb and thoughtless, which tends to lead us further down the path of destructiveness.
A Refusal to Go Home
15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything. – Luke 15:15-16
Here’s something I had never seen before. After the younger brother had spent everything and began to be in need what could he have done? He could have gone back to the father. Instead, what does he do? He refuses to go home and instead hires himself out to feed pigs.
As I reflected more upon the fact that he didn’t return home I realized that this was my story, this is our story. We find ourselves deep in our own sin and brokenness, but instead of going home to our loving father we wallow in the mud of our situation. Our pride, guilt, and/or shame keep us captive instead of going limping back to the chain breaking love of our heavenly father.
The Scriptures say that if we confess our sins, God will be faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). It doesn’t say that he will punish, scold or refuse his love. No, that’s not the character of our God. When you go home you will find an overwhelming love ready to forgive, take back and celebrate your return.
So stop making excuses and letting your pride hold you back. Take the first step towards home today and I promise you’ll find a kind father sprinting from the distance to embrace your return.