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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.”—Luke 15:13–16 (ESV)
In today’s passage, we see the son go off to a far country, leave the protection and love of his father’s house, and go experience life on his own. And what did he do when he got there? He squandered his entire inheritance away on reckless living.
He wasted everything . . . all that his dad had worked so hard to prepare for him, to give him in order that he would be secure, provided for, and blessed was gone.
Now, all alone, this lost son was totally rejected by the people around him. When he had all his money, I bet he was the most popular guy in town . . . until he lost everything. But now, he was alone in a strange land, with no family, and no one who really cared about him; he was starving and desperate. He was treated as less than human, forced to defile himself by working with unclean animals and sleeping in a pigpen.
I want you to see this . . . I want you to understand what this means in Jewish culture. To the Jews, pigs were unclean animals they stayed away from. But here, this young Jewish man is now living in the pigpen, an apt representation of the ugly, disgusting, hideous nature of sin.
No one would give him anything to eat, to the point that he was tempted to eat the pig’s food. Seriously, you can’t even begin to understand the depths of disgrace this rebellious young man had plunged himself into.
And the worst thing about it is that he never saw it coming, because no one ever does! That’s why no matter how hard we’re tempted, no matter how strong the pull, we have to remember that the satisfaction and enjoyment sin promises is nothing more than a honeytrap—an irresistible bait strategically set up to lure and trap its victims.
But it doesn’t have to be this way! We can stay in the protective fences of God’s will and Word. In the Bible, God gives us all we need to live a life that not only honors Him, but is also satisfying, abundant, and joyful! When we step outside of the fence, outside of His Word and His will for our lives, that’s when we get burned! My prayer today is that we’d remember this each time we encounter temptation, and that like Joseph, we’d have the good sense to flee instead of take the bait.
DIG: What happens when we venture outside of the fences of God’s Word?
DISCOVER: How have you seen this at work in your life or the lives of people around you?
DO: Consider your life and any area that you may be drifting away from the fences of the Word. Repent in this area and give it back up to the Lord.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.