The Pig Pen

“So he went and hired himself out to a citizen of that country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs.  He longed to fill his stomach with the pods that the pigs were eating, but no one gave him anything. When he came to his senses, he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have food to spare, and here I am starving to death! I will set out and go back to my father and say to him: Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.'” (Luke 15:15-19)

Our party boy has hit rock bottom. He took his inheritance and blew it in record time. He finds himself alone and without means to even buy food. Remember, his father was so wealthy he could give away a third of his bank accounts without the pinch; and just like that, the son squanders it all. How bad was it? He went to work for a Gentile feeding pigs.

Now, working on a pig farm may not sound like the worst thing ever; but for a Jewish man, it would have been the bottom of the barrel. Jesus didn’t add this little detail by accident. It goes to show how low he had fallen. From the commandment in Deuteronomy 14:8-10, Jewish people didn’t eat, touch, or even want to be around animals with a split hoof. So, not only did he reduce himself to work with pigs, he even longed to eat their food.

Y’all, while we may not have begged to get a job in a pig pen, chances are we all found ourselves in a situation well below anything we could have imagined. And through that we are so desperate, pig’s food becomes something we crave.

The younger son wanted what a pig would desire. Read that again. Could it be that we find ourselves craving the slop instead of the beautiful banquet God wants for us? Has our appetite been flipped because we are too comfortable in the pig pen?

Thankfully, by the end of these verses our lost son lifts his head long enough to recognize his surroundings and decides to head home. With shoulders slumped and head hanging low, he takes that first step… and a second… and a third…

Are you sitting in a pen craving slop? Sweet friend, take that first step back to the Father. Believe me, it’s worth the trip!

By Carrie Peterson






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