Tonight I had the chance to read a pre-release copy of The Prince’s Poison Cup (now available directly from Ligonier Ministries). In this wonderfully illustrated fifty-eight page children’s book, a grandfather tells his granddaughter a story that mirrors man’s fall in the Garden of Eden and Christ’s redeeming work at Calvary. The context for the story is the illness of a man’s granddaughter. She has to drink medicine to get well. The girl naturally asks why the medicine tastes so bad. And that results in her grandfather recounting the story of the prince and the poison cup. The prince is Jesus; the poison cup is the wrath of God which He drank in full on behalf of all who would ever trust in Him. But the grandfather first provides an allegorical retelling of man’s fall:
At first, the King’s subjects enjoyed spending time with Him so much that they didn’t even go close to the fountain. They loved the King and wanted to please Him. But they began to get curious. They wondered why He didn’t want them to drink the water of the fountain, which looked so pure and refreshing.
One day a stranger in a long black cloak appeared in the park. The people didn’t know it, but the stranger was the King’s archenemy. He told the people that the water in the fountain wasn’t bad at all. He said that if they would try it, the water would do wonderful things for them. It would make them as great as the King Himself.
By now the people were very curious about the water. It didn’t seem fair that the King wouldn’t let them drink from the fountain. So they decided to try it. The stranger filled a cup with the water from the fountain and gave it to the people, and they drank it.
That first sentence, I think, gives a helpful perspective for children (and adults) to maintain: Satisfaction in God dulls sinful and curious interests.
In addition to a warm, engaging story, this book is also beautifully illustrated by Justin Gerard. Gerard has partnered with Sproul on other books such as The Lightlings (which I previously introduced). I highly recommend The Prince’s Poison Cup, particularly for children 3-8.