Focal Passage: Hosea 14:1-9
Without question, he had hit bottom. Sickened by the fact
that he would have gladly filled his stomach with swill, he came to his senses
there in the pig pen. His own idiocy became crystal clear. No excuses. No
victim mentality. Just sincere repentance.
But then something happens that we often overlook in the
prodigal’s story. Now that he had hit bottom, he had to decide what to do next.
There were tons of options. He already had a job. Why not
work hard and advance his career?
Maybe he could find a different job. Maybe he could become a
financial consultant; he certainly knew what mistakes to avoid. Maybe he could
ease his guilt by entering the ministry, and live the rest of his life for the
good of others. Any of these options would have been an improvement. In some
sense, once you really hit bottom, every option is up.
But the prodigal chose to go back to his father’s house! Can
you believe that? He had insulted his father by demanding his inheritance
early. He had disrespected his father by wasting his wealth. He had trashed the
family name. Home would seem to be the last place he would go.
Furthermore, when you’ve hit bottom, you don’t need anyone
telling you, “I told you so.”
So why did he choose to go home? Because when you hit
bottom, you turn to the option that presents the greatest hope of true help.
He knew his father; he knew his steadfast love and kindness.
He must have witnessed his forgiving spirit during happier times at home. His
father was his greatest hope.
Most dads would have laid him out, read him the riot act,
and explained all the new rules and regulations that he was expected to tow the
line on. But not his father; he could tell that the son was completely broken,
and needed love more than a lecture.
The prodigal never even got to finish the speech he had
prepared. He never got the chance to ask for a job as a hired servant. His dad
simply forgave him, restored him, and welcomed him home as a son.
This beautiful parable pictures the forgiveness,
restoration, and reconciliation that your heavenly Father longs to give you.
No matter who you are, what you’ve done, or how far you’ve
strayed, you can always go back to Him. If you’ve hit bottom, then remember
that your heavenly Father is, and always will be your source of greatest hope.
Look to Him.
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