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THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE - Chapter 15 - Verse 18

Verse 18. I will arise. This is a common expression among the Hebrews to denote entering on a piece of business. It does not imply that he was sitting, but that he meant immediately to return. This should be the feeling of every sinner who is conscious of his guilt and danger.

To my father. To his father, although he had offended him, and treated him unkindly, and had provoked him, and dishonoured him by his course of conduct. So the sinner. He has nowhere else to go but to God. He has offended him, but he may trust in his kindness. If God does not save him he cannot be saved. There is no other being that has an arm strong enough to deliver from sin; and though it is painful for a man to go to one whom he has offended—though he cannot go but with shame and confusion of face—yet, unless the sinner is willing to go to God and confess his faults, he can never be saved.

I have sinned. I have been wicked, dissipated, ungrateful, and rebellious.

Against heaven. The word heaven here, as it is often elsewhere, is put for God. I have sinned against God. See Mt 21:25. It is also to be observed that one evidence of the genuineness of repentance is the feeling that our sins have been committed chiefly against God. Commonly we think most of our offences as committed against man; but when the sinner sees the true character of his sins, he sees that they have been aimed chiefly against God, and that the sins against man are of little consequence compared with those against God. So David, even after committing the crimes of adultery and murder—after having inflicted the deepest injury on man—yet felt that the sin as committed against God shut every other consideration out of view: Against thee, thee ONLY, have I sinned, &c., Ps 51:4.

Before thee. This means the same as against thee. The offences had been committed mainly against God, but they were to be regarded, also, as sins against his father, in wasting property which he had given him, in neglecting his counsels, and in plunging himself into ruin. He felt that he had disgraced such a father. A sinner will be sensible of his sins against his relatives and friends as well as against God. A true penitent will be as ready to acknowledge his offences against his fellow-men as those against his Maker.

{l} "I will arise" Ps 39:5

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