Ellen G. White Writings

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A Call to Stand Apart, Page 23

Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ Then the father said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15:11-32.

This is the story of a young man weary of the restraints of living at home.24Christ’s Object Lessons, 198.

Things came to the point that he decided he had to get away. His wealthy loving father gave the lad his inheritance, and he left for a place he thought he would have freedom to do whatever he pleased. He had the money to satisfy every desire. Because money attracts company, he soon had a group of friends to help him spend his wealth in high living.

But the hopes and dreams he had nurtured while a boy at home soon sank into oblivion, along with the stability and security of his spiritual upbringing. His inheritance squandered, he applied for a job and was assigned to look after hogs. For a Jew, nothing could have been worse. Jesus’ Jewish audience understood the pits of degradation and humiliation He was describing. The young man, determined to find liberty, instead found himself a virtual slave. Friendless, starving, and sick at heart, he forced himself to eat hogs’ food to survive.25Ibid., 199, 200.

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