Sunday, March 14, 2010

Pondering the Prodigal God

I learned something new this week and I thought I'd share it - apparently, the word prodigal doesn't mean what I thought it meant. I've always assumed that prodigal meant "wayward" as in "the prodigal son" but it turns out that prodigal means something else altogether -

prodigal [prod-i-guhl]

- adjective

1. wastefully or recklessly extravagant;
2. giving or yielding profusely;
3. lavishly abundant;

Sometimes when long held perceptions give way to new perspectives, you gain new ways of appreciating old truths. I was first drawn to look into the meaning of the word when the title of a book by Tim Keller (The Prodigal God) caught my attention. Although I haven't yet read the intriguingly titled book, I find myself pondering the ways in which God might be considered "prodigal"

How has God revealed Himself to be "recklessly extravagant"?

Chiefly, I'm thinking of how God exhausted the treasure-house of heaven by sending the True Treasure, Jesus Christ on a rescue mission to redeem a world lost in rebellion.

He exhausted His wealth to make us rich (2 Corinthians 8:9)
He extravagantly loved those who loved Him not (Isaiah 53:3)
He laid aside His cosmic kingship to be the lowliest servant so as to rescue a race of rebels (Philippians 2:5-8)
He suffered immeasurable injustice to set the guilty free. (Luke 23:46-48)
He, the Perfect Righteous One became sin in order to make sinful men, perfectly righteous (2 Corinthians 5:21)

It turns out that the story of the Bible is more about the Prodigal God than the prodigal son. Just thought you should know.


Paul Long said...

Wondcerful reminder. Thanks. Am so glad God is abundantly over lavish with me!

Every Square Inch said...

Paul - thanks for taking the time to encourage with a your comment

Paul Long said...

You're welcome. Good additional fodder for my sermon thoughts and prepartation