Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Keep your lamp trimmed

In this blog post, I will look at the parable of the 5 wise virgins and the 5 foolish virgins.  This parable is found in Matthew 25: 1-13.  I’ll post the whole parable and then comment on the verses.

"Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish.  Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them,  but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.

“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ 

Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’  And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.

“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’  But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.
Jesus told this parable to his disciples, and they were surely aware of the Old Testament wedding traditions.  The groom was to come in the middle of the night, after all things were ready, to take his bride from her father’s house.  The virgins were the ones attending the bride; in today’s vernacular, they were the bridesmaids.  They knew the time was close and that the groom was coming to take his bride soon, but they were unaware of the exact date and hour. 

The wise virgins took extra oil with them in their flasks in case their lamps ran out.  They were unsure how long it would be until the groom came, so they wanted to make sure they had enough oil. Oil is one of the symbols of the Holy Spirit.  When we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit through Jesus.  By spending time in the Word and in prayer, we can keep the oil of the Holy Spirit renewed in us.

The shout of “Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him,” reminds me of Revelation 4, where Jesus tells John, “Come up here!” and he was instantly transported to heaven. 1 Thessalonians 4:16  reveals that we will be called to heaven with a shout and the blast of a trumpet at the Rapture. 

The wise virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps at the call. They kept their flasks filled with oil.  The foolish virgins, however, didn’t keep their flasks filled, so they lost their chance to attend the wedding banquet because the master didn’t know who they were.  He didn’t know who they were because they didn’t spend any time with him. 

When the foolish virgins asked the wise virgins for some of their oil, the wise virgins refused to give them any of their oil because there wouldn’t be enough oil for all.   The foolish virgins should have brought their own oil in their flasks, which is obtained by spending more time with the Lord and being filled with the Holy Spirit.  The oil of the Holy Spirit in you is your own.  We each need our own supply of oil of the Holy Spirit.

As time passes and Jesus has not yet come back for His bride, we can become spiritually lazy and we can “fall asleep.” If we “fall asleep,” we will not be ready when the Bridegroom comes.  Friend, take a look at your faith. Are you staying filled with the Holy Spirit by spending time in God’s Word and spending time in prayer?  Will you be ready when the shout comes and the trumpet sounds?  Or will you not have enough oil of the Holy Spirit?  Will you be unprepared?  Will you be one of the foolish virgins who the Lord will say He doesn’t know?  Jesus said in the parable that we should be alert because we don’t know the day or hour of His coming.

If you have “fallen asleep,” take time today to repent of your spiritual laziness and spend more time with the Lord in prayer and His Word so you can know Him more and He can say He knows you. When the time is right and all is ready, Jesus will come back and claim His bride (the church).  You don’t want to be left behind when the trumpet sounds.   All of the events going on in the world today means the Lord’s return is closer than ever before.  Maranatha! 

Thanks for reading! See you next time!