Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | July 11, 2018

“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.” – “the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.” – How do we apply the lesson of this parable of the Ten Virgins and carry oil along with our lamps?

Today’s devotion comes from Matthew 25:1-13.

““Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent.  For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.  Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep.  But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him.’  Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’  But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too;  go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’  And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast;  and the door was shut.  Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’  Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”  Matthew 25:1-13.

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This Scripture continues the theme of the prior Scriptures that we do not know the time when Christ will return, so we need to be prepared and ready, He can come at any time.  And, the consequences are severe.    “… those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast;  and the door was shut.  Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’  But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’  Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”  Verses 10-13.

Some depend on their understanding of the signs and will start preparation when they see the signs.

But, the Scriptures make it clear that this is a foolish approach.

“Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”  Verse 13.

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.  But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into.  For this reason you also must be ready;  for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.”  Matthew 24:42-44.

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone.  For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”  Matthew 24:36-39.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, …”  2 Peter 3:10.

Some are prepared and ready at all times.

“… the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps.”  Verse 4.

How do we apply the lesson of this parable of the Ten Virgins and carry oil along with our lamps?

“Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.”  Psalm 119:105.

Everyone, even the foolish, have the lamp (God’s Word).

But, unlike the foolish, the prudent also carry oil by reading God’s Word, by faithfully attending churches to listen to good preaching and teaching, and by applying God’s Word to their lives.

“You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;  so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:14-16.

In the language of the Canons of Dordt, Article 16 of the FIRST HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of Divine Predestination, the prudent diligently persevere in using the means of grace.

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house;  and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house;  and it fell—and great was its fall.”  Matthew 7:24-27.


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