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Day 29 – Who’s Responsible? – Part 1

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.” Matthew 25:1-5 (NIV)

The parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25 speaks of five wise and five foolish virgins awaiting the arrival of the bridegroom.  The wise ones, of course, brought along spare oil for their lamps, while the foolish only brought what they believed would be enough.

While waiting, it says they all became drowsy and fell asleep; all of them virgins, all of them awaiting the bridegroom, all of them asleep.

It’s interesting to note that in addition to actual sleep, the Greek word katheudo also indicates being negligent or careless, or to yield to sloth and sin, or be indifferent to one’s salvation.  Both the wise and the foolish were actually sleeping or metaphorically yielding to sloth and sin; lazy and indifferent.

Five were foolish, or moros, meaning foolish, impious, or godless. They either lacked the skills to plan ahead, they weren’t aware that they needed to, or were still in the process of learning.  Five were wise, or phronimos, meaning intelligent, wise or prudent (mindful of one’s interests). They knew to plan ahead and they were intellectually prepared to do so.  

It’s easy to see how a foolish person could become sleepy or negligent or careless.

They’re foolish, so that kind of behavior encompasses their entire world:  messy house, messy kids, messy life.  I’ve had phases like that: can’t quite get everything together at one time, laundry’s never done, kids always late to youth group; always in a constant state of playing catch up.

But how do the wise become negligent and careless?  They’re so prepared, house is always ready for company, kids wearing clothes that came out of the drawer instead of the dirty clothes basket, and ingredients for dinner are actually in the refrigerator with a detailed meal plan.  These people write books about organization that sit unread on the dusty bookshelves of the foolish.  I’ve had moments like that too, although they’re short-lived and separated by months of chaos.

They were all there for the party, but only half of them had the gift of prior planning.  They all fell asleep, or got too busy with foolishness, or became lazy about the things of the Kingdom.  Or maybe they were caught up with “appearances”, and became overcome with exhaustion while appearing to have it all together.

Father, I desire to be wise about the things of your Kingdom.  I don’t want just the appearance of having wisdom.  I want the Spirit of Wisdom to guide my every step and motive, that I would not be caught sleeping or found negligent.  I ask these things in the name of Jesus, Amen.

— Jodi Packe

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