August 30

Text: Matthew 25:10-12

"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.  And later the other virgins also came, saying, 'Lord, lord, open up for us.'  But he answered and said, 'Truly I say to you, I do not know you.'”   (NASB)

When there is little or no light, night is a dangerous time.  Darkness hides the presence of thieves and dangers.  In the daylight under familiar circumstances, a person can recognize dangerous circumstances that cannot even be seen in darkness.  For those reasons, as a matter of good judgment, after darkness one closed the house and locked the doors for the night.

Because it was easy to conceal ill intent in darkness, people commonly did not open a door after it was locked for the night.  Three difficulties likely were faced by the unmarried women who sought to buy oil.  (1) “What are women doing out this time of night?”  (2) Getting the dealer to go to his shop.  (3) Gaining entrance to the bridegroom’s home.  The responsible solution may have been unlikely or undoable.  The emphasis was on unpreparedness, not on motivation.

As much as many dislike this fact, it is true that there is always a moment when it is too late to “fix” an undesirable situation.  If the person is prepared, that moment is NOT an undesirable moment but a time of blessing.  That moment produces an undesirable situation only when the one facing it is not prepared.  It is the failure to make adequate preparation that makes the moment a horrible situation.  There are situations—like it or not—that cannot be “fixed.”

The problem with these foolish women was not (1) an unwillingness to come, (2) an unwillingness to act in demanding circumstances, or (3) an unwillingness to be motivated.  The problem was simply a deliberate failure to prepare.  What could have been a moment of joyous celebration became instead a moment of disaster.

There is a too late.

Suggestion for reflection: Illustrate the importance of being prepared.  (Read Luke 11:5-13.)

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