Consistency of God's word shown in the relationship of the stories of Joseph and the Prodigal Son. What significance does it have for us today?
The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis and the Parable of the Prodigal Son in the book of Luke both have a common theme or message to them. In my opinion, these stories give us three main attributes of God and of what He is about; and that is love, forgiveness and righteousness.
In the story of Joseph, we see Joseph’s brothers plot against him because of jealousy. The story shows how God creates a sense of realization that love for one another in the brothers should be one of the main focuses in their lives. He does this by allowing the suffering of Joseph to turn into a righteous teaching of the commandment of God to forgive one another and love one other. When it was all said and done, Joseph’s response to what his brothers did to him was not revenge or hatred toward them. It was forgiveness and Love for his family. The end result? God blessed them by letting the family prosper in wealth and happiness.
Similarly, in the story of the Prodigal son, the teaching of love, forgiveness and righteousness are apparent. When the son finally realized the errors of his ways and repents of his actions, he returned home only to find a loving father waiting for his return. Similarly, God waits for us to repent and come to Him. When this happens, God’s grace and mercy does not condemn us but greets us with open loving arms. Even though the boy had spent his inheritance wastefully, the father shows his forgiveness and love for his son. Although the boy’s brothers objected to this ‘return with open arms’ approach, God’s righteousness is pointed out to the brothers by the showing of love by their father.
The important point of all of this the simple fact that God is all about LOVE. Jesus emphasized this in His ministry when he spoke in the book of John;
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35
God teaches us by several methods. Sometimes by not creating suffering but by allowing suffering to bring good and to ultimately glorifying His name.
The main objective in this study is that God’s word, the Bible is here for a reason. Its writings are not arbitrary. They have purpose and meaning. Only man by his Interpretation has turned God’s word into a religion. Yet, He is not that, but a REALITY.