MT 25:1 - 13 "At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.
6 "At midnight the cry rang out: `Here's the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!'
7 "Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, `Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.'
9 " `No,' they replied, `there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.'
10 "But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.
11 "Later the others also came. `Sir! Sir!' they said. `Open the door for us!'
12 "But he replied, `I tell you the truth, I don't know you.'
13 "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.
I was reading this passage today in my bible study. One of the questions asked was what do the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins have in common? As I thought of the comparison between the two the firsts and most immediate answer is that the common denominator is that both groups had a desire to be invited to the wedding banquet with the bridegroom.
However what happen is like most things in life, sometimes things appear to be unfair. But when has life ever promised to be fair? Bad things happen to good people every day and evil people succeed in greater numbers every day as well.
But the deeper message in this parable is one of readiness. I must be ready to give an answer for what I believe in. We read n 1 Peter:
1PE 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,
When I read this parable I have to decide who I want to be. Do I want to be a wise virgin who has trimmed her lamp and has plenty of oil on hand, or do I want to be like the foolish virgin and come unprepared to the party.
In the world we are surrounded by the so called foolish virgins. These are the people who never look beyond the moment. They are the people who assume there will always be time to believe in God later. These are the people who belong to the church of “I’m a good person” They believe that being good is all that is required.
I know what I want and that is to be ready. I want my lamp to be trimmed and full. But how do I achieve this. I must keep my proverbial lamp full with the oil of the Holy Spirit which comes from a daily dose of God’s word. It means spending time in prayer and worship. It means seeking out the will of God in my life. It means making the hard choice to live for God and not in the world. It means that I must stay on my knees and grounded in the word. When I do this my lamp will be trimmed and ready for that midnight cry.
Sadly both groups of people in this parable desired the very same thing however only one group was allowed access to the wedding banquet. At the midnight cry I do not want to here the words “ I tell you the truth I do not know you.”
Is your lamp trimmed and ready? God’s word can fill it. His love can supply all the oil your life will ever require. Raise your trimmed lamps high and praise God for His faithful promises and His endless love.