You see, I have a prodigal child. My Mister and I do. And we know all about what Solomon is outlining here. And he hasn't covered the half of it.
Here is verse 26:
He that wasteth his father, and chaseth away his mother, is a son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach.The first thing I want us to notice is that the verb that is translated "wasteth" in the King James, is actually a root that means to be "burly," powerful, strong -- the implication (so my study Bible says) is that to waste here means to ravage, to destroy.
And "chaseth" is translated "drive away" in other places. Pretty strong words, aye? They bring up some very vivid images. In my mind's eye I see my hubby, head in hands, asking why his buddy of twenty plus years is rejecting him. In my mind, I hear again my son's voice, telling me on the phone to "stop trying" to contact him. He has definitely tried to drive us away. And he has made us feel ashamed, though without cause, because others reflect on us, his parents, as having not taught him better, or being in some way to blame . . . We can see it in their eyes, when they ask if we've heard from him.
Yes, there have been tears and sleepless nights. There have been bittersweet times leafing through photo albums. There have been many, many prayers uttered, and those will continue without ceasing.
But wait ---
--- how many times have I rejected my Lord? Ignored His instruction?
How many times have I told my Savior to stop speaking to me about that certain sin that I don't want to give up? That person that I need to ask to forgive me? That gift that I held back, when I knew He was asking me to give?
Has He cried over me? Yes, He did. Worse, have I brought shame on His name? Yes, I have. I see that I am indeed a prodigal child, and I am in need of His love and forgiveness. I am so thankful that all I need to do is to ask:
1Jo 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.