We worship who is hurt by our rebellion. In the story, the younger son demanded to receive his inheritance although his father is still alive. According to Jewish law, a father who had two sons was to leave 2/3 of his estate to his older son and 1/3 to his younger son. This younger son came to his dad and said, “I know you’re gonna’ drop dead someday, but I don’t want to wait–give it to me now.” The Father was wounded by this harsh demand, but he granted it. He probably had to take some time to sell some of his land or livestock or liquidate other assets, but he eventually comes up with 1/3 of his net worth and hands it to his younger son.
Immediately the son takes the money and runs. He walks out of his father’s life and heads for the “far country.” Here is a perfect example of a rebellious, disrespectful child. We can tell from the way he welcomed him back that the Father’s heart was broken when his son left home. I think the father shed many tears over his son’s foolish behaviour.
The Father in this parable (Luke 15) represents God. He is our Father and we are His children. There’s a very important principle you must understand. You cannot sever your relationship with God–but you can certainly break fellowship with Him. The whole time the prodigal son was away, he was still a son, but He had left the presence and favour of his Father. We can do that, too. When we become a Christian, God establishes a love relationship with us. He is our Father and nothing will ever change that. But we can certainly harm our relationship with Him and hurt Him.
God didn’t stop Adam and Eve from eating the fruit. God didn’t stop it for the same reason He didn’t stop King David from having sex with Bathsheba. God didn’t stop it for the same reason the father in this parable didn’t fling himself across the door and say, “Stop it son, I won’t let you leave!” That’s not the nature of God. He loves you so much He allows you to make you own choices, even though He knows what the consequences will be. Just as the father grieved because his son walked out, even so, God the Father grieves when one of His children walk out of fellowship with Him.
Our heavenly Father loves us so much and has so much for us. Let’s not live lives which cause him hurt through our rebellion, but let us stop living selfish lives and enjoy being in his house. (Psalm 27:4).