The story of the Prodigal Son is probably the best known of Jesus’ parables. Perhaps we love it so much because we can each find ourselves in the narrative since we have all moved out of our Father’s will at one time or another.
The King James Bible says the prodigal son went away to a “far country.” When we reject God’s will, we also enter a “far country,” even if we never leave our hometown. Satan beckons with promises of new experiences and entertainment, whispering, “Come satisfy your curiosity—this is the way to really live.” But the reality of the “far country” doesn’t fulfill those empty promises. Sin distorts our thinking, causing us to lose our sense of what is right and good. We squander time, money, and relationships. God-given talents, ambitions, and opportunities are wasted on pointless pursuits as we pour days and dollars into things that bring only temporary satisfaction.
Outside of God’s will, it’s easy to make foolish decisions and end up in trouble. That could involve some physical or financial need. Or it might even be a wretched emotional state, in which we feel isolated, unloved, or rejected.
The ultimate end to such a journey is our personal “hog pen”—the place where we finally realize sin doesn’t pay. Having traveled so far to reach this new low, we may wonder if the Lord can ever love us again. The answer is yes. Our sin can never outdistance the reach of God’s grace. If we, like the prodigal son, will turn around, repent, and come home to our Father, we’ll receive His restoring forgiveness and be welcomed with rejoicing.
Bible in One Year: Joshua 13-15