At youth camp last week, the story of “Stay in the Castle” was brought up and talked about. This story was written by a preacher named Jerry Ross. I have never heard him preach but I have read the story and it is a good story with a great point. One of the themes of youth conference that the church I grew up in did was “Stay in the Castle.”
Stay in the castle, stay in those walls that your parents and your pastor and those that love you have built to protect you from the world, the flesh, and the devil. That is the theme of the story.
As I sat there watching a little video that was put together by the camp staff about staying in the castle, I thought about my own life. I thought about how I had ventured out of the castle, outside those walls, to be my own man, to make my own decisions. I got to thinking about the a story in the Bible that deals with staying in the castle, the story of the prodigal son.
“And he said, A certain man had two sons: And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living. And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.” Luke 15:11-13
This is a famous story in the Bible and there are so many truths that can be taken from it. The main character of the story is of course the prodigal son, the son that left home. But the father and the oldest son also play important roles in the story. As I was reading through this story, I found some truths that I have never seen. But for today, I want to focus on the prodigal son.
The youngest son went to his father and demanded his inheritance. He wanted what he thought was his so that he could go out into the world and do his own thing. He was man enough now to make his own decisions and do what he wanted to do without father and mother telling him what to do. He left the walls of the castle that his father had built for him and went his way.
What the Prodigal Son left at home:
- The Presence of a Loving Father – The prodigal son had a father that loved him. I see this in verse 12, where the son asked for his inheritance and the father just gave it to him, no questions asked. I also see the loving father in verse 20 where it says “And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 This verse says that the father had compassion on him when he came home. His father was looking for him to come home. The father loved his son more than all his wealth, that is why he gave it to him. The father wanted his son to be happy. Hey, Christian, when you decide to leave the castle, the home, that God has given you to go out into the world, you are leaving the presence of a loving father, maybe not physically but definitely spiritually. The father isn’t going to go with you to the world, He will stay home, longing for you to return. The Father loves you and wants the best for you, but when you leave, He will not go with you!
- The Provisions and Livelihood of the Father – The father had provided everything for his sons. He gave them a roof over their head, clothes on their back and food in their stomach. These sons had absolutely nothing to worry about. The father provided their every need, no matter what it was. God our Father supplies our needs while we are at home, in His will. I believe that when we leave and do our own thing, He will not bless us like He would if we were in His will. When you stay in His will, His provisions are yours as He takes care of you!
- The Protection of Living with the Father – As a father, I love my kids and I will protect them no matter what! The prodigal son’s father, I am sure felt the same way! He was probably heartbroken when his youngest son left his house because he knew he couldn’t protect him anymore. God the Father wants to protect you. He wants to keep you from harm, but when you go beyond His will and do your own thing you are on your own.
The prodigal son left all these blessings at home to go out and experience the world on his own. In the next post we will find out what happened to him when he left!