We’re not really told what he might have been learning while he was at home. But this we know. He simply wanted “to go.” He had what some call “itchy feet.”
We know that the temptation to quote “go” is a common temptation among human beings. To some people, the desire looks like this. I have a desire to go shopping; just to spend money, even if I don’t need it. We call that “impulse buying.” But it’s the very same thing.
And the only way this younger son could go was by getting money from his father. It may be that any money he had been making at home had already been spent; maybe even wasted.
Sometimes we are convinced or we convince ourselves that some other setting will be much better for us than the present one. After all, some would say, weren’t we meant to be free? What all the reasons for this young man to want to leave home aren’t given. All we know for sure is that he wanted something other than what he had at home.
First, he wants to “go.”
Second, he wants his money
Now, the money. According to the Law of Moses, the firstborn son was to inherit a double portion of the father’s possessions. According to Deuteronomy 21:17 “the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he hath: for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his.”
The right of the firstborn meant, in this case, that the inheritance would have to be divided three ways with his older brother getting two thirds; the double portion. So, he was convinced that his third was due him. The problem, though, was that inheritance usually only passed once the father has died. And dad was very much alive. Nevertheless, just like you and me, he wanted his portion now.
And, also, just like you and me, we don’t know where today’s decisions will lead us tomorrow. There are plenty of things he could have done by way of planning, counsel, preparation, setting of goals, patience, etc. But when it comes to the heart of man, we often don’t take anyone into consideration but ourselves. “What do I want? What do I need? What’s in it for me?”