God spoke to the people through his prophet Joshua describing their history from Abraham on. At every stage God said, I did this. Then Joshua closes with his own words. If it seems bad to you to serve Adonai, then choose today whom you are going to serve! …As for me and my household, we will serve Adonai! CJB
As we work our way through the long list of Old Testament men and women who served God, we see great things mixed with failures. Abraham, the man of faith, doubted the promise of God. David murdered the husband of Bathsheba. But they remained as faithful as they could. We must take heart in that message. God loves us in our failures.
In the traditional Middle Eastern wedding, the groom, even today, walks with family and friends to the house of the bride and returns to his house for the festivities. But, the walk back winds through as many streets as possible so that everyone gets a chance to meet and greet. Meanwhile, the main wedding guests are waiting at the groom’s house.
The 10 young women in Jesus parable have their small lamps to show everyone who they are. It is indecent for a woman to be out at night without such a light, even today. Also, the light is not used to light the path but to show the face. It is all about maintaining a good reputation. That is part of the message that we often overlook.
As the night wears on, the girls snooze. When the announcement comes that the groom and his bride are coming down the street, the ten women pick up their lamps which are nearly out of oil. The lamps are too small to hold more than a few ounces, so five women refill their lamps from extra oil they brought along as the others beg for some of the oil. Getting no help, the five rush away to borrow oil from people they know and return to find the door closed.
If we foolishly allow ourselves to slide away from service to God, if we lose that reputation of goodness, we risk not being ready when our Groom arrives to take us home.
Be righteous and do good.