By Toni Smothers
Scripture Reading: Luke 15:11-24
Scripture Quote: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. Luke 15:7 (NIV)
During the prodigal son’s era, a person who worked at feeding pigs was considered to be employed in the vilest of all occupations - Jews were particularly contemptuous of swine-herdsman. In Egypt they were not permitted to mingle with civil society or have any matrimonial opportunity. Purely because of their occupation and association with pigs, they were considered to be shameful sinners.
Today, a desperate drug addict given up to all kinds of evil, who might steal, or even murder if it gained him his next fix, could be compared to the debased swine-herdsman. These kinds of people are shunned by a law abiding society.
Who among us would esteem a murderous drug addict, or choose him as an acceptable candidate to marry one of our kids? Yet, which of us would not be heartbroken to have one of our own children fall into such a despicable lifestyle? And just like the father of the prodigal son, it's a good guess that we would also be elated at our child's reversal and return to us. God, the author of the greatest parental love in existence, is also tremendously joyful over the child who turns away from their sin toward His merciful forgiveness.
Today’s meditation: Sin’s deception destroys, but God’s truth restores.
Memory Verse: “I have swept away your offenses like a cloud, your sins like the morning mist. Return to me, for I have redeemed you." Isaiah 44:22 (NIV)