Ambrosia or Slop?
Read Luke Chapter 15
Lk 15:11 Jesus continued: “There was a man who had two sons. 12 The younger one said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So he divided his property between them.13 “Not long after that, the younger son got together all he had, set off for a distant country and there squandered his wealth in wild living. 14 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. 16 He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. 17 “When he came to his senses, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! 18 I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired men.’ 20So he got up and went to his father.
There are numerous lessons we can learn from this parable. You probably know that we look at it often. Today’s thoughts may be familiar to you, but they are fresh and new to me. For me, this is a recent discovery. The prodigal son, as we noted yesterday, was at one time in submission to his father. When he rebelled against the father’s authority, his purpose was to gain his freedom and to have control over his own life. After a while, the son found himself once again in submission to someone. He became a slave in submission to the pig farmer. His duties included slopping the hogs. Even worse, his provisions were less desirable than the food he fed to the pigs. Any of us who desire to get out from under our Father’s authority will find that we will share the same fate as the prodigal son.
This is a great lesson for us. There are only two “masters.” One is our Heavenly Father, who lavishes His love and provisions on us. The other is the father of this world, who will eventually force us to “slop the hogs,” as did the prodigal son. The latter master has no concern or love for us. He wishes to dominate and control us by tempting us with things which will destroy us. When Paul said that he counts all things as rubbish in comparison with the glory of knowing Christ, he hit the nail on the head. We will either dine at the Master’s table or we will dine in the other “master’s” hog pen. One Master provides us with eternal sustenance, food and drink which lead to eternal life. The other provides us with poisonous food which will kill us.
All of our dreams of self-autonomy are pipe dreams, illusions of our mind, fantasies which have no chance of coming to fruition. Why would we even consider them an option? We must decide, every day, perhaps many times each day that we would rather live in our Father’s mansion than to feed slop to the hogs. There is no middle ground, no compromise. Truly, we have no real choice in the matter. We belong to the Father, and we will never be satisfied in the hog pen.
Prayer: We are the dumbest bunch of sheep which ever lived! Time and time again we choose to live with the pigs instead of living in Your mansion. You love us, while the god of this world hates us. You give us everything good while he gives us nothing. You provide the richest of foods, but he feeds us the worst of the worst. Lord, I understand why You call us sheep. We would wander off, as they do, if You were not constantly watching over us. Thank You again for Your matchless grace and love.