Slopping The Hogs
The son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.'
But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat, and celebrate; for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.' Luke 15:21 WEB
Jesus told a story of a young man who could not wait to get his inheritance from his father. When he finally received it, he left home and ran through it immediately by spending the entire inheritance on riotous living and prostitutes. That was certainly not his father's perfect will for him.
When everything was gone and he became hungry, he tried to find a job, but could not. Finally as a last act of desperation, he got a job feeding pigs for a gentile. Both gentiles and pigs were detestable and unclean for a Jew, so he had sunk as low as a Jewish man could go.
I grew up on a farm and slopping the hogs was a daily chore. I can tell you that it is a messy place to be and that the aromas from the pig pen are memorable. I can say from experience, that hogs are not clean animals, but they can be very tasty when prepared properly.
Anyway, this son had now hit rock bottom. For a Jew to be a pig feeder for a despised gentile was as low as he could go in social status. After a while of doing this, scripture tells us that he came to his senses. He realized that he was now broke, hungry, living by slopping the hogs, and that it was a choice that he had made that got him here.
He remembered that the servants in his Father's house always had plenty to eat, so he decided to return home and become a servant like them. He put together a long speech about how he was no longer worthy to be called a son. But the Father met him on the road and before he could even give the speech, the father in the story was throwing a celebration and making him the guest of honor at it. The Father's heart said: 'You will always be my son.' The son only had to return home for the Father's door was wide open and he was welcome.
Sometimes we ask God for things and then when we get it, we completely blow it. One of those 'Oh my, that was stupid' moments that we wake up from. God understands and He wants us to return to Him. His door is always open. No matter what you have done, you are welcome at His house. This story was included in the Bible for people like us. When you come to your senses, return home to the Father. It is ok, He understands. You don't have to stay out there with the pigs. Prayer: Heavenly Father I thank You for always having an open door. I choose You today and ask that You help me find my place in Your kingdom. Put me where You want me to be Lord. Open the next door and I will walk through it, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.
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