by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions
John 8:12 Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, "I am the Light of the world: he that follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life."
Matthew 25:1-10 "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.
During the feast of Tabernacles in Yeshua's (Jesus') day, the temple priests would set up four great lampstands with golden lampholders, which they would light with the aid of enormous ladders in the Temple courtyard. The lighting of these lamps began the celebration of the "Great Hosannah" (Hoshannah Rabbah, in Hebrew). The celebration went on in to the wee hours -- with music and dancing and rejoicing, while the beautiful lights lit up the night. Jerusalem was a breathtaking, illuminated city on a hill.
The following morning the Jewish people would recite the prayer for the eighth day of the feast -- "Be thou praised, O Lord our God, King of the Universe, who makest light and causes darkness, who makest peace and createst all: the light of the world as the treasure of life…" Yeshua said, "I am the Light of the world.".
God is Light, He loves light, He creates light, He sheds light, He desires light. Lamps with oil produce light, both for those who carry them and for those who see the light bearers. "You are the light of the world", He said. So the Lord also expects light from and His people. The light of God in our lives comes from His Holy Spirit, and oil has always been associated with the Spirit's ministry in the lives of believers. Burning oil produces light. If we are spiritual "virgins"because we are betrothed to one Heavenly Husband, we ought to bear His light in this dark world. Yet He has told us that some virgins will not have the wisdom to do it, so it is a warning to us; a warning not to quench the Spirit, but be filled with Him and be the light of the world.
Some of us, though virgins, have been walking in darkness. This could change. The choice to light our lamps belongs to us. The gift of the Holy Spirit has been given to all true virgins. The wise among us will "buy oil" and maintain our lamps thoroughly filled. To "buy oil" means to "spend time" with the One who supplies it, asking Him to fill us up, and to clean out the impurities in our "lamps". You know what this means for you personally, and I know what it means for me. We ought to think about the joy of the wedding, and prepare our hearts with His light... illuminated beautifully for all the world to see, and to be ready! At midnight, when the Bridegroom suddenly appears, our joy will be unspeakable.