Continuing Granddad’s notes on Isaiah 42:3 KJ “…the smoking flax shall he not quench; …” Granddad underlined this phrase and wrote in the margin “foolish virgins, little spark.” So I ask, “What do I make of that?” This is the way I think Granddad would have preached it.
Matthew 25:1-13 Parable of the Ten Virgins. All were virgins, and all were waiting for the groom. When they left their dwelling to go meet the groom, all had some kind of “spark” in their lamps. The five wise took extra oil; the five foolish didn’t. They might not have checked; they might have just hoped they had enough; they might have counted on borrowing from their pals; they might have thought the bridegroom would not tarry so long. Who knows why? But it is evident that they had not prepared adequately to wait for his arrival.
Now for the doctrine Granddad would have passed to me. If a virgin (Christian) does not take care of her relationship with Jesus, if she does not replace the oil by holy living, if she just hopes she is fit and ready for his coming, if she thinks she will not be left because of her past record of burning brightly, or whatever kind of excuse she has, the truth is that she must have some new oil or the spark will go out.
With this in mind, let’s look at why Granddad might have written “little spark” by the phrase “the smoking flax shall he not quench.” That gentle loving Savior (see last post) will woo his virgins, he will lightly blow on the faintest spark to renew a glowing relationship with his lover-bride. He will invite his bride to come into his arms to shield against harsh winds that blow and snuff out the lights in his loved ones. He will not quench the flame, if it goes out it will be because of the virgin’s negligence to renew the oil even in the face of his promise to come for her.
Verse 10 “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.” If your lamp goes out, you will not go with the bridegroom. Granddad’s preaching was full of love but not designed for those with itching ears who think that if they once had a flame, it will not go out.
This reminds me of a chorus we use to sing: Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning; give me oil in my lamp, I pray. Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning, burning til the break of day. (I see several instances of this song online, but I do not know the origin.)