..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Devotions from the Heart: Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins

by Derek Gitsham

"Afterward came also the other virgins saying,
‘Lord, Lord open to us.’ But He answered and
said, ‘Verily I say unto you, I know you not.’"
Matthew 25:11-12

The story of the five wise and foolish virgins
is quite alarming. We are told in this story that
the foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with
them (verse 2). The wise took oil in their vessels
with their lamps (verse 4). Because the Bridegroom
tarried longer than expected, the foolish virgins
discovered their lamps went out and had no provision
for their lamps to continue burning. The wise,
however, had extra so when their lamps went out,
they immediately were able to trim their lamps and
get them burning again.

The story starts off the same for all the virgins.
They were all virgin. So are the saints of God,
they are virgin to Him, keeping themselves for their
Savior, allowing nothing to come between themselves
and the Lord. In order for them to keep their lamps
burning they must be dependent on the Holy Spirit
by being fed by the Him (having oil), praying in
the Holy Ghost, and walking in the Spirit. All
these things are supplies. The Spirit’s work in
us supplies the oil for the lamps of our lives.

So what happened with the five foolish virgins? Their
mistake in running out of oil was going to prove costly.
So costly in fact that they were shut out by the Lord,
who claimed also that He never knew them (verse 12).

They obviously began well. All ten were on the starting
line together. Yet somehow there was a neglect on
their part. Forgetfulness and lack of diligence, all
played a role. Not taking the things of God seriously
obviously had dramatic results. This story is one of
those which has an unhappy ending for the foolish
virgins. The foolish virgins were not ready when the
Bridegroom came (verse 10), the wise virgins were.

The wise virgins paid attention to their walks with God:
to them it was a matter of life and death. Jesus said,
‘He that endureth to the end shall be saved’
(Matthew 24:13). The Book of Hebrews has endless
warnings about the need to take heed, ‘If you will
hear His voice harden not your heart…how shall we
escape if we neglect so great a salvation?’

Let this story be a warning to us all. Let us stay
diligent to the end, ‘Let us fear lest a promise of
being left us of entering in to His rest any
of you should seem to come short of it’ (Hebrews 4:1).

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