“’Father, give me my share of the estate.’ So [his father] divided his property between them,” (Luke 15:12, NIV).
Here we have a young man who had a great family. His needs were taken care of and he had the opportunity to get things he wanted. He was cared for and his father made sure of it. Later, for some unknown reason, the young man wanted his inheritance now. He didn’t want to wait till his father passed away. He didn’t want to wait until he was old and gray. He wanted to do what he wanted to do, when he wanted to do it. Because his father was so loving, he agreed. He divided his property between his two sons and gave the young man his inheritance. His son immediately left home and spent all he had.
Typically, when the prodigal son is talked about, it is in reference to someone who doesn’t know the Lord or someone leaving the Lord and doing things their own way. They squander what they have, lose everything, and find themselves in a mess only the Lord can clean up. The son goes home expecting to be one of his father’s servants, but his father rejoices that his son is finally home.
But this passage also communicates something else. It shows us how we can take advantage of the blessings God gives us. A lot of the time, we want what we want now. We can act like a spoiled brat, expecting to be given whatever we want. We want God’s blessings. We want to be a star. We want to be significant and say, “Look at me!” We can squander the blessings God gives us and begin to use them for selfish reasons – reasons God never intended for them to be used. Other people can still be blessed by them, but when we do things on our own, our fuel will eventually burn out and we won’t have anything left. The time to receive God’s blessings is in His timing. Our inheritance is the promise we will be with Him in eternity one day, but the blessings He gives us in the meantime are meant to glorify Him.