Exodus 25:31-26:29; Matthew 25:1-13; Psalms 31:3-8; Proverbs 11:15
NT: “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the groom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they didn’t take oil with them; but the wise ones took oil in their flasks with their lamps. When the groom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. In the middle of the night there was a shout: ‘Here’s the groom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all the virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise ones, ‘Give us some of your oil, because our lamps are going out.’ The wise ones answered, ‘No, there won’t be enough for us and for you. Go instead to those who sell oil, and buy some for yourselves.’ When they had gone to buy some, the groom arrived, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet, and the door was shut. Later the rest of the virgins also came and said, ‘Master, master, open up for us!’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you!’ Therefore be alert, because you don’t know either the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13 CSB)
Still on the subject of being ready for His return, Jesus told a parable about 10 bridesmaids awaiting the return of the bridegroom. Five were prepared and five were not. Five had enough oil the endure the long wait, the other five did not. When the bridegroom finally arrived the five who were not prepared were caught of guard, were empty of their oil and missed their opportunity to be welcomed into the banquet. Though all 10 bridesmaids fell asleep while waiting, only the 5 that had a full supply of oil were in the position to quickly respond. 1 John 5:19 speaks of the whole world being under the sway of the evil one. The original language connotes being rocked to sleep like an infant. The enemy of our soul is always attempting to rock us to sleep… dull our senses… and keep us off guard and unable to respond to our King. How do we combat that? Remaining full. What is the oil that we are to have in plentiful supply as we wait? The Holy Spirit and the Word of God. If we do not continuously feed on God’s word and remain full of the Holy Spirit we will be lulled to sleep and unable to respond when the time to respond arrives.
Psalms: “For you are my rock and my fortress; you lead and guide me for your name’s sake. You will free me from the net that is secretly set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hand I entrust my spirit; you have redeemed me, Lord, God of truth.” (Psalms 31:3-5 CSB)
As we make the Lord our primary pursuit… as we follow Him… as we fill ourselves with His word and with His Holy Spirit, He will lead and guide us. He will navigate us around the pitfalls and snares of life and be our refuge in the midst of a world gone awry. The key is staying alert, listening to His voice, trusting in Him, and obeying Him.