“BUT AT MIDNIGHT …” Thoughts from today’s Bible readings – Jan. 23rd – D.Caudery
For those who are really tuned in – spiritually – the world appears to be nearing the midnight hour, so great is the spirit of godlessness pervading all nations. God’s word is totally neglected – except for a few remaining “elect.” Recall what we read in ch. 24 in Matthew yesterday about the time of “tribulation.” But ” … for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short.” [v.22]
The parables of Jesus recorded in today’s 25th chapter surely apply to today. In the first 13 verses we have the parable of the 10 virgins waiting for the bridegroom to come. Five are not ready “as the bridegroom was delayed… ” [v.5] “But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.'” [v.6]
We look back on expectations on the return of Christ, the bridegroom, over many generations! In our own relatively long lifetime, the expectations were strong in the late 1940’s after Israel became a nation again, we have a G.T. magazine that implied that 1957 was possibly the year, it was 40 years (a” generation”? see Numbers 32 v.13, Psa. 95 v.10) since Jerusalem was freed from the Turks.
Then, after Jerusalem was captured in 1967 and became the capital of Israel expectations of his coming within 40 years were quite high. How long is a generation – does Numbers 32 v.13 prove anything? How long, we ask ourselves in 2016 – until it is “midnight”? Those waiting for him “all became drowsy.” [v.5] “But at midnight” the cry came and there is instant and urgent action!
What does the “oil” represent in this parable? We suggest – it is genuine faith – built upon a genuine knowledge of his word: a faith inspired, among other things, by the Psalms of David such as we read today in Psalm 41 where the opening verses tell us, “In the day of trouble the LORD delivers him; the LORD protects him …” In v. 12 David declares, “you have upheld me because of my integrity, and set me in your presence forever.” Surely those wondrously blessed to be in God’s kingdom will say in that day (as in the last verse of this Psalm) “Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.”