Summary: Most of us are too spiritual to think of eventualities in our planning thereby neglect taking precautions. The foolish five couldn’t go with the Groom because they refused to take precaution even when they saw others did. Wisdom is the principal thing!
The story of the ten virgins in the book of Matthew 25:1-13 comes with a load of lessons and several sermons have been preached and are still being preached on it. Our focus today anyways is a critical look at the five that the Bible tagged “fool” among the ten virgins. What were foolish about them?
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." Matt 25:1-13
Facts about the Ten
• They were all believing Christians. This is clear from the fact that they all prepared to meet Christ. It is only Christians who have the hope of reigning with Christ at His return and at such, are preparing to meet with Him.
• They were all eager to meet Jesus.
• They were all righteous. The fact that they were referred to as virgins means that they were undefiled. And being undefiled implies that they were pure, holy and without blemish. They weren’t just Christians by word of mouth, they were practicing Christians who walked daily in the way of the Lord.
• They all backslid. The delay by the groom took a toll on all of them, both the wise and the foolish. They all became weary and went worldly.
• They all rededicated their lives to Christ. All of them woke up from their slumber when the arrival of the groom was announced and they trimmed their lamps, meaning that they picked up their faith from where they left it. This was where the line was drawn between the two categories and the foolishness of the foolish five came to bear.
The foolish five
• The five were tagged fool because they did not take extra oil with them as they set out to meet the Groom. Several things were wrong with this decision of theirs among which are the following:
• They had thought that ceteris paribus, the oil in their lamp would be enough to carry them till the arrival of the Groom. They did not envisage any eventuality and therefore considered it unnecessary to carry extra oil.
• They had assumed that everything having started rosy would end just rosy. They did not come to term with the fact that they had to work out their salvation with fear and trembling on a continuous basis (Phil 2:12).
• They also had thought that they enough faith to carry them through. Alas, they were wrong. Situations arise in our journey to eternity that require different levels of faith. The reason we must not be satisfied with where we are on the spiritual ladder but constantly be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:1-2). That someone was a living sacrifice upon the altar of God sometimes ago doesn’t mean that s/he will always be. Effort must be made daily to strengthen our faith through prayer, fasting, reading and listening to the word of God.
• Misplaced priority. Rather than taking extra oil, they took money which was practically of no use.
Many Christians today share the attributes of these foolish five:
There are those whose faith has never grown beyond what it was when they gave their lives to Christ. They remained babes even when they were supposed to have become teachers (Heb 5:12-14). There are some among this class who blatantly refused to exercise their faith whereas some are scared to exercise theirs.
There are still some who are just being frugal with their own faith. No matter the category, they remain babes and undiscerning because of the lack of use of their faith.
Many Christians do not take precautions. Most of us are too spiritual to think of eventualities in our planning thereby neglect taking precautions. The foolish five couldn’t go with the Groom because they refused to take precaution even when they saw others did. Wisdom demands that we take precautions. The reason the scriptures enjoins us to take a cue from the ants that gather food in the summer and keep indoor in the winter (Pro 6:6-8). Jesus Christ Himself also instructed us to be as wise as a serpent even while we remain as harmless as a dove (Matt 10:16). Wisdom is the principal thing!