Monday, September 15, 2014
Monday Morning Devo--The Kingdom of Heaven is Like.... Part 9
“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. But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
“And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut.
“Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’
“Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming. (Matthew 25:1-13, NKJV)
What do you make of this passage? Jesus compared His coming kingdom to a wedding. Interesting, because the Jewish wedding was a lengthy affair, not the one-hour visit to a church for the ceremony and another maybe hour or so at a reception.
Sometimes the time of the wedding was a secret date known only to the groom and his groomsmen. On the day--or rather the night--of the wedding, the groom and his men would actually kidnap the bride and parade her through the streets, letting people know the wedding was about to happen. The groom and groomsmen take her to a prearranged place that would hopefully be in readiness--thus the girls who were responsible for that needed to be constantly watching and listening for the party to arrive, and they'd especially need filled lamps. There wouldn't have been time to go find a vendor to fill their lamps. Once the bride and groom had gone through a lengthy, vow-filled ceremony, they'd be taken to a room especially prepared for them, and they would consummate their wedding. Then they'd spend the week being treated as a king and queen on thrones by all the attendees.
You can see why those ladies had to have the place ready and why their master (the groom) would be a little upset if they didn't have light for the long night-time ceremony.
Are you ready for the Bridegroom?
Jesus, Please show us what You have for us to do to be ready for You. May we not fail You in this joy-filled occurrence. Amen