There is always a feeling of security and trust when we are surrounded by our family members. Family should be a place where one is able to share and feel safe at all times. If we sit down introspect ourselves, we will find that there are many blessings that we do not deserve or are not worthy to receive. Many times we do not give due value to the grace and blessings we receive from God. We give value to that which is forbidden. In this way, we lose the Lord’s grace.
- Adam and Eve: Adam and Eve had a whole garden for themselves. Forgetting the instructions given by the Heavenly Father for some time, both of them took and ate that which was forbidden. Instead of accepting their mistake and repenting for it they started to blame each other for the mistake and tried to escape. Those who were blessed and lived and in abundance were not cursed and thrown out of the garden. The first child born from the curse, Cain killed his own younger brother out of jealousy. In a mistake that seemed trivial at that time made Adam and Eve lose the garden forever.
2. Greedy Jacob: Father Issac had two sons, Esau and Jacob. When Esau returned back to the tent hungry, Jacob asked the right to be the firstborn in exchange for some soup to satisfy his hunger. It didn’t end there. Jacob went on to dress like Esau and appeared before old Isaac and took his blessings through deceit.
When Jacob realized that Esau would kill him when he comes to know about this. He ran away to Laban, his maternal uncle. On the way he was alone. He remembered his home and desired to return back home. Jacob was stricken with guilt and the loss of his family and home. In Genesis 28:21, 21 so that I return safely to my father’s household, then the Lord will be my God, Jacob asks God that if he returns back home he will accept Him as his God. Jacob does back home but at a price. He cheated on his father and brother, and he is cheated by Laban. Jacob loses many years in this way.
The Lord who examines our heart saw the grieving heart of Jacob. He appeared before him. Genesis 28:15, 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Jacob lost a lifetime in Laban’s house. Jacob cheated twice, once his brother and second his father. Jacob was cheated by Laban 10 times. When Jacob returns home after several years he says that he saw the Lord in him, Genesis: 33:10, 10 “No, please!” said Jacob. “If I have found favor in your eyes, accept this gift from me. For to see your face is like seeing the face of God, now that you have received me favorably. Esau was delighted to have him back and forgave him. Here we see that Jacob was repentant of his mistake and hence saw the face of God in his brother’s face.
3. Joseph’s brothers: Joseph’s brothers threw him into a dried well and later sold him as a slave. It was not Joseph’s destiny to be a slave. Even though sold as a slave he rose to the ranks of second in command to the Pharaoh himself. A sudden twist in his life and he is thrown into prison. Yet the Lord’s eyes are upon him, Genesis 39:21, 21 the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.
The Pharaoh saw two visions one after the other. No one was able to decipher its meaning. Only Joseph could decipher and tell the meaning of the visions. The vision showed 7 years of prosperity followed by 7 years of severe famine. This made the Pharaoh very happy and he made Joseph his chief in command. Genesis 41: 38-41, 38 So Pharaoh asked them, “Can we find anyone like this man, one in whom is the spirit of God?”
39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. 40 You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders. Only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.”
41 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I hereby put you in charge of the whole land of Egypt.”
There was famine all over the land. Jacob sent his sons to Egypt upon hearing that there were grains available. On reaching Egpyt the sons had to pass through several tests. The brothers are seen talking among themselves, Genesis 42: 21-22, 21 They said to one another, “Surely we are being punished because of our brother. We saw how distressed he was when he pleaded with us for his life, but we would not listen; that’s why this distress has come on us.”22 Reuben replied, “Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy? But you wouldn’t listen! Now we must give an accounting for his blood.” Joseph reveals himself to his brother. they are overjoyed to see him and hug him close and wept. Genesis 45:14-15, 14 Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. 15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward, his brothers talked with him.
It is natural to feel remorse and guilt in the absence of family and loved ones when one is alone, trapped in the sufferings and maze of life. Through the parable of the Prodigal son, Jesus tries to teach us the same thing. The prodigal son took his shares from the father and went away. He wasted his money on the luxuries of life. Finally, he landed at a place where there was a severe famine. The son remembered the days he spent with his father at his home. The Bible tells us that he realizes his folly Luke 15:17, 17 “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!. He goes back to his own home to his father. When the father saw his battered and worn-out son, he embraced him close to his chest. The father received him with a lot of celebrations.
Like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, our Heavenly Father too is ever merciful and receives each child who returns back to Him with an embrace. Micah 7:18-19, 18 Who is a God like you,
who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
you will tread our sins underfoot
and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
Do not be like Adam, Eve, or Cain. Instead of repenting before the Lord do not become the slaves of the Devil like Judas. Before the crucifixion of Jesus instead of reaching Jesus, Judas committed suicide. Let the prodigal son be an example for us. Had he thought about the reactions of his elder brother or his relatives and neighbors, the prodigal son would not have had the courage to return back home. His ultimate goal was to reach his father and seek forgiveness. Our aim should also be one thing only, to reach the ever merciful Father- repentance and forgiveness of sins. If humans can forgive the mistakes of their children. Then think what about the Father in heaven who loves us so much that He gave His only Son for our sins. Think.