I mentioned that both of these bible dads affected me as I read them.
The next story is a familiar one, often called the story of the Prodigal son, but actually titled “the man with two sons”. It is found in Luke 15:11-32 and it is so encouraging. One of the things I love about this story is the consistent kindness of God exuding from the dad toward both his sons.
1) The Dad possibly contested the dividing of the inheritance, (we don’t know) but he went ahead and gave it to him and didn’t violate his younger son’s will. “And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.’ So he divided to them his livelihood.” – Luke 15:12 God is like that with us. He will let us have what we think we want. (Rom 14:5) We need to pray He will protect us from our stupidity.
2) The dad never pursued him while he was away to get him to change his mind or delay going or whatever. He allowed him to make his own moves and see where it led, honoring his will. This messes up the doctrine of the sovereignty of God folks a lot!
3) But when he saw his son even though far off coming back, he moved toward him. It says “he ran to him, embraced him and kissed him.” This is the kindness and goodness of God to move toward us when we move toward Him. (James 4:8)
4) While the older son who had remained loyal and faithful was angry that such a lavish party was being thrown for his little brother who was a loser, the dad explained the reason why, because he could have never come back or been hurt. While the older brother had legitimate reason to be upset, but the dad explained, ”all I have is yours”. (Lk 12:32)
5) Finally It says that the young man KNEW he sinned against both heaven (God) and his dad. When we waste our time and money on foolish things, it is sin! A lot of evangelistic preachers interpret this that the father gave him all he lost and more that he was reinstated.
He came back and was allowed to work under his brother the rest of his life. He got a big meal, a ring and a robe. That’s it. There are certain consequences for sin that involve loss. Yes God can restore. But this story is about the attitude of the dad more than anything.