And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. ~Matthew 25:8
Oil in the Bible was a necessary commodity of life. Since olives were abundant, olive oil was processed for many uses. It was used for cooking. It was applied to the skin to give moisture in the hot and humid climate. It was used to anoint kings. It was fuel for keeping a lamp burning for lighting at night. Oil had many practical uses. Oil is also a symbol of the Holy Spirit. Our devotion this morning looks at the tragedy of an oil shortage.
We see the individuals.
“Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.” The ten virgins were distinguished as five being wise and five being foolish. All of them had lamps for use at night when it was dark. However, the lamps required oil for the wick to be lit and to stay burning. Five of the virgins were called wise because they had oil. Five of the virgins were foolish because they did not have oil.
We see the indifference.
“While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.” The bridegroom delayed his coming. All of the virgins became careless and indifferent to his coming. Indifference is when we become apathetic and unconcerned about our responsibilities and special events. Opportunities are lost when we are indifferent. Great losses can occur when we are indifferent.
We see the insufficiency.
“And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” The bridegroom came at midnight. There was no advance warning of his coming. There was no time for delay. The five virgins that had oil in their lamps were ready to follow him. However, the five who did not have oil could not light their lamps. They needed oil in their lamps in order to follow him. They demanded of the other virgins to share their oil with them. The five wise virgins could not share their oil because they only had enough for their own lamps. The five foolish had an oil shortage when they needed it the most. They failed to have the oil at what should have been a joyous moment.
We see the inhibition.
“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.” The bridegroom took the five wise virgins inside for the marriage banquet. After he entered in, he shut the door. When the door was shut, the five foolish virgins could not enter in. The oil is a symbol of the Holy Spirit. “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” The five foolish represent the folly of waiting too long to get saved. They missed their opportunity and the door was shut. The Holy Spirit is the One Who saves us and dwells in us at salvation. The five foolish thought that they could buy oil at midnight. Sadly, some people trust in good works and think they can buy their way into Heaven even at the last minute.
If you’re not saved, don’t put it off. If you are saved, realize that the Holy Spirit lives in you. Seek to be filled with the Spirit so that you have power to serve the Lord. A shortage of oil is not a good thing. Don’t be caught short!
Have a Spirit-enabled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Jeremiah 46-48