THE PARABLE OF THE TEN VIRGINS
“Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
I remember this funny song we used to sing at Bible School, “Give Me Oil in My Lamp”. Some of the lines in that song would get stuck in my head for days, “keep me burning for the Lord” , “give me wax for my board”, “keep me surfing for the Lord”, only in California. I never could figure out how you could “surf for the Lord”. The basic message of the song was, “Jesus is coming soon, STAY READY!!!”
The parable of the ten virgins gives us some interesting insight into what Jesus considered being prepared for His return would look like. The lesson of the story is plain, the oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit, and having oil in your lamps is obvious. We must stay full of God, that is the only way for us to be ready for the coming of the Lord. That is a powerful thought, it is the Spirit of God within us that actually qualifies us to be with Him. Many people just think about the work of the cross. The cross dealt with our sins, that is what blocked us from the Glory of His Presence. But just being forgiven is not enough, forgiveness of our sins, the work of the cross was all about bringing us to God. That is what the day of Pentecost was all about. We have to go from the cross to the Upper Room and actually receive the Presence of God, the wonderful Holy Spirit, into our lives. When that happens, your new life begins, that is the beginning of having “oil in your lamp”. But that is only the beginning, this oil, the Holy Spirit, is the source of power and life for all we are and all we do. We cannot live off of that initial experience, our lamps will run out. We need to have continual, daily fillings of the oil of His Spirit. This is how we stay ready, we must keep our lamps “trimmed and burning”, none of us know when our Lord will return.
So this brings us back to our song, “Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning, burning, burning”. Do you have any oil in your lamp today? Are you burning for the Lord? Learn the lesson of the wise and foolish virgins, be ready for the return of Christ, no one knows which day He will return.