Father, I have sinned
(Lu. 15:21)It was not until the prodigal son returned repentant that the father ran out to meet him, fell on his neck and kissed him. It would not have been righteous to administer forgiveness until first there was repentance. The scriptural principle is,
if he repent, forgive him (Lu. 17:3).There is no record that the father sent help to the prodigal as long as he was in the far country. Actually to have done so would have been to obstruct the work of God in the rebels life. The Lords goal was to bring the wayward one down to the dregs. He knew that the son had to come to the end of himself, that he would never look up until first he had hit bottom. The sooner the wanderer got to the husks, the sooner he would be ready to break. So the father had to commit his son to the Lord, and wait for the crisis of extremity.This is one of the hardest things for parents to doespecially for mothers. The natural tendency is to bail out a rebellious son or daughter from every emergency that the Lord sends along. But all that such parents succeed in doing is hinder the Lord in His purpose and prolong the agony for the loved one.Spurgeon once said, The truest love to those who err is not to fraternize with them in their error but to be faithful to Jesus in all things. It is not love to indulge a person in his wickedness. Love rather turns the person over to the Lord and prays, Lord, restore him, no matter what the cost may be.One of the biggest mistakes David made was bringing Absalom back before there was any repentance. Before long Absalom was winning the hearts of the people and plotting a revolt against his father. Finally he drove his father from Jerusalem and was anointed king in his place. Even when he set out with his army to destroy David, the latter instructed his men to spare Absalom in the event of a confrontation. But Joab thought better of it and slew Absalom.Parents who are willing to bear the pain of watching God reduce their son or daughter to life in a pig-pen are often spared a greater sorrow.
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Well said & so very true!