Open Heavens Daily Devotional by Pastor Ẹ A Adeboye
Date: Saturday 24 March 2018
Topic: Lessons From The Ten Virgins
Memorise: “Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh” – Matthew 25:13
Bible Reading: Matthew 25:1-13 (KJV)
1 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
2 And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
3 They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
4 But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8 And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9 But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Bible in One Year: Deuteronomy 11-12, Ephesians 1.
In the Jewish culture and tradition, wedding festivities are usually held in the evening and run into the night. Typically, the bridegroom would go to meet his bride in her father’s house with lamps, and the bridal train would proceed from the bride’s father’s house to the groom’s house, where a feast would be provided for the invited guests. It was against this backdrop that the Lord Jesus Christ gave the parable of the ten virgins. In general, the parable speaks of the second coming of our Lord and of the judgement that will accompany His return. In this parable, the Lord classified the people His message was targeted at into two groups: the wise and the foolish.
There are various lessons to be learnt from this parable of the ten virgins, especially because it contains a lot of symbolism with deep spiritual meanings. The virgins, lamp, oil, the absence of the bridegroom, slumbering and sleeping, the midnight, the cry, the trimming of lamps, having no oil, asking for oil, the refusal to give oil, entering into the feast, and several other aspect of the story represent different aspects of our Christian race to heaven. However, we will be considering just a few lessons behind some of these metaphors. The virgins represent the Church, while Jesus is the Bridegroom. The message of the parable is therefore for the Church and not for the world. We are warned in this parable that the Bridegroom may delay His coming. He may not come at the time we expect, but he will surely come at midnight, meaning that He will come suddenly and unexpectedly. Note that all the virgins who set out to meet the bridegroom dozed off and slept. The only thing that separated the wise virgins from the foolish ones was the level of their preparedness. The wise virgins took extra oil with them in anticipation of a delay in the bridegroom’s arrival, while the foolish ones failed in this regard. They obviously did not anticipate that the coming of the bridegroom could be so delayed. Their failure to take extra oil made the difference and determined their fate. The Lord will take only those who are ready at His coming into the marriage supper. The door will be shut against those who are not ready after the call has gone out, and it will not be opened to anyone who comes late.
The practical lesson of this parable therefore is the unexpected nature of the Lord’s Coming. We must be ever ready to meet the Lord. The lamps of our faith and Bible study must be kept burning all through the day and night. We must uphold and defend the truth in the word of God. We must not allow modern thinking and liberal theology to water down or pollute our faith. We must keep our focus on the message of the gospel as we continue to follow the footsteps of our Master, Jesus Christ.
Prayer Point: Father, please help me never to lose sight of Your second coming in Jesus’ Name.
Hymn 9: The Old Rugged Cross
1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the Dearest and Best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it someday for a crown.
2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
Has a wondrous attraction for me;
For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
To bear it to dark Calvary.
3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see,
For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
To pardon and sanctify me.
4.To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
Then He’ll call me someday to my home far away,
Where His glory forever I’ll share.