We all know the story of the Prodigal Son – who asked his father for his inheritance so that he could go off and live life his own way. To see the world and enjoy himself. However, when he had finally spent all his money, he found his worldly friends had disappeared too – leaving him to experience hard times alone. To add to his troubles there was a famine in the land, and he ended up looking after the swine, becoming so hungry that “he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat.” (see Luke 13:32).
Deprived of all his substance, and left alone with the swine, he mused over his predicament. He had hit rock bottom! What could he do – why even his father’s servants had food enough to eat, and more besides!
So, he humbles himself – admitting he has been foolish and sinned – he returns to his father no doubt envisaging that he will have to plead with him for forgiveness and that perhaps he could be taken back as one of the servants. But, of course, his father not only forgives him, but welcomes him back with open arms – and celebrates his return with a feast. Our dear Lord, relating this parable explains the father’s delight at his son’s return thus; It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad; for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.’ (Luke 15:32).
Whilst this parable can be attributed to any sinner who repents and turns back to Almighty God, it also applies to Israel – God’s people, who – separated from the House of Judah – in Jesus’ time, were dwelling in other lands, a result of their captivity by the Assyrians. Those people still living in the Holy Land, included some of those who had returned from Judah’s captivity by the Babylonians, and who would have considered their Israelite brethren as lost among the heathen/gentile peoples.
But Our Lord plainly stated He had come for the Lost Sheep of the House of Israel – thus His message was not just for His Disciples, and others who would hear His voice there – but also those Israelites living in other lands – some near and some far away – hence we have the legends of Our Lord coming to our lands here in the West – with Joseph of Arimathea, who first brought the Gospel to our land …. Israel – and Judah – were renowned in the Old Testament, for turning away from God and His Laws. Like the ebb and flow of the sea, you would have a king who did evil in the sight of the Lord, and then a king who did good, and brought the people back to God’s ways. Unfortunately, this trend continues even today and we are currently living at a time where we, God’s Israel people, have gone far away from where we should be, and like the prodigal son are dwelling in the world of pleasure and delight – a world that is seeing all our blessings and our birthright wasting away in frivolous living. This godless One-World Babylonian society has ensnared us like a fly in a spider’s web. This is apparent here in Britain, where we are attempting to unravel ourselves from the Babylonian European Union – a main artery of the One-World Confederacy. Indeed, we are held fast in this web of deceit, awaiting the spider’s whim as to when he should devour his prey.
Whether Ephraim-Britain or Manasseh-America, and kindred lands – we have chosen to forsake our inheritance. It is easy to see how, having spent the last 40 plus years splashing out our wealth and blessings on the EU and other parts of the world – they do not want to let us go – at least not until they have squeezed every last bit out of us! Then, as an empty sack, we shall be left on the rubbish heap.
America, at least, via President Trump, is trying to draw up the purse strings, but under great duress, for again, they are caught up in that spider’s web.
For here in the West, we have truly been blessed over many years, with an abundance of food and comfort, but could this be about to change? I would hope not, but we have seen terrible fires in California, droughts and floods in other lands, and such extremes of weather, that food shortages could become the norm in the future. I work in a health food shop in Devon, and I note that much of our produce comes from places such as California, who supply, amongst other things, almonds, dates, raisins, and walnuts – good healthy foods that we have been blessed to enjoy. But if our blessings are replaced by curses, then these, and other wonderful foods – and much more besides, could disappear very quickly. This could leave us in a situation materially, like that of the Prodigal Son. We already dwell in a spiritually bereft society, having turned our backs on Our Lord, but I am afraid that it may take the lack of material substance to actually bring us to our senses! When this happens and all our abundance is lost, then hopefully we will see the light, and humbly go back to Our Father, and Our Lord.
Part of our problem is distraction and temptation. Both coming at us from all angles, and almost relentlessly, especially in our digital world, where something can be switched on or tuned into at any time of day or night. It is only when we take time to sit quietly and listen to that quiet voice within that calls us back to Almighty God, that we have any chance of escape. It is when the prodigal son is alone – dwelling amongst the swine (these creatures being not just unclean, but an abomination in the sight of God) – that he came to his senses and saw the error of his ways. We think also of Jonah, in the belly of the whale – alone – separate – from all distraction and temptation – who in his desperation prays to Almighty God.
And this is where our hope lies, for we know, without a shadow of doubt, that as soon as we turn back to our most Wonderful Lord, He will welcome us with open arms – and there will be rejoicing indeed, and a great feast. Which of us would not rejoice when someone we had thought dead, was suddenly found alive? Like Lazarus, brought forth from the tomb by Our Lord, after his death 4 days previous. What must Martha and Mary, his sisters, have thought at this marvelous event?
And yet, the prodigal son also suggests another, deeper meaning, that of the day of Resurrection – the resurrection of the dead – Adam and Eve themselves symbolized the first prodigal son – they were truly blessed in the Garden of Eden, but they chose to go their own way, and that way all but lost us our inheritance as sons of God.
Thankfully, we can have a glorious future, just as we imagine the prodigal son would have – reinstated with his inheritance restored. We do not deserve anything, any of us, going all the way back to Adam and Eve. And yet, if we just realize our predicament, our self-induced situation, and accept that we cannot put ourselves right, that we need Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. He told us the way to go, pointed to the door upon which we should knock and promised it would be opened – by Himself.
“If My People – that are called by My Name”. “…For this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found…”