Daily Devotional: Day 174
“And the foolish [virgins] said to the wise [virgins], ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No . . . 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 (Matthew 25:8-10).
Have you been to a wedding where the bride was late? The writer of this Devotional comes from a part of the world where it’s common for the bride to arrive late for a wedding (While the practice is discouraged, it shows little sign of changing). The groom usually arrives early and is “expected” to be the one to wait for the bride. It’s unusual for the bride to arrive first to wait for the groom.
But regarding the return of Christ Jesus (the Bridegroom), it appears that it is He who will delay. And, it is us (Christians, the Bride) who will be expected to wait and be ready to welcome Jesus whenever He decides to arrive. That seems odd, given what most of us have come to associate with weddings in this world. Even more startling is that in the story of the Ten Virgins, the Bridegroom arrived at a very odd hour, midnight! Who does that? Well, Jesus does that. He is signaling that He will return at an hour when we least expect. His wedding, His terms, His timing.
The story of the Ten Virgins is rich with meaning and practical salvation lessons, but let’s deal with one thing at a time. Today, let’s focus on Preparing for the Most Important Appointment. The oil in the passage of the Ten Virgins is a metaphor for the state of readiness of a Christian to meet Christ. The context of the story indicates that the Ten Virgins all refer to professed Christians who are attending the same wedding, and going to meet the same Bridegroom. The only difference is, like the Ten Virgins, some are ready, others are not. Those who are ready, carry the “Oil of Readiness” (watching in prayer, walking in faith and love, etc.).
The Five Wise Virgins were determined to attend the wedding at all cost. They treated the wedding appointment as a priority. They, therefore, took necessary measures to ensure they didn’t miss it. The Five Foolish Virgins, however, didn’t approach the wedding with the diligence it deserved, and they missed it. The Bible says those who were ready went in with the Bridegroom, and the door was shut.
You see, if you have an appointment that is important to you, you will do whatever it takes not to miss it or be late. Most people who have doctor’s appointment are very careful not to miss it. Why? Because their health is important to them. Most people who have an important job interview will do whatever it takes not to be late. Why? Because the job interview is important to them. We can go on and on with examples of how diligent we are not to miss appointments that matter to us.
Yet, you will find Christians who attend to the Lord’s business (prayer, ministry, Scripture study, fellowship, etc.) with a lackadaisical attitude, and it doesn’t seem to bother them. We treat our personal business as a priority, except the Lord’s business. What we don’t realize is that the little things we do faithfully: attending to prayer and fasting, acting in love, participating in fellowship, meditating the Word of God, abstaining from evil, denying self, etc., is the metaphorical oil which makes ready us for the Most Important Appointment of our life. Let’s honor Jesus with our best preparation. Amen.
May the Lord bless you and deliver you from all harm. Amen.
For further study: Matthew 25:1-13