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Give Me Oil

Posted by kmaxx@mts.net on February 24, 2019 at 10:35 AM

Matthew 25:1-13


“Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning.

Give me oil in my lamp I pray.

Give me oil in my lamp, keep me burning;

Keep me burning till the break of day.

Sing Hosannas, Sing Hosannas, Sing Hosannas to the King of Kings”


We used to sing this little chorus as kids. Generally speaking it meant we were dependant upon God to keep us on the right path by lighting the way before us in a dark world. Whether we actually understood all that might be rather doubtful, for a bunch of little children who had yet to taste of any real trouble.


"Oil in My Lamp", also known as "Give Me Oil in My Lamp" and "Sing Hosanna", is a traditional Christian hymn based on the Parable of the Ten Virgins. The song has been recorded many times and was a hit in Jamaica in 1964 for Eric "Monty" Morris. Written by A. Sevison in the 50’s, additional verses included “keep me praising, resting, serving and more recently a pastor recalls “we added some lyrics: give me wax on my board; keep me surfing for the Lord. Or, give me gas in my Ford, keep me truckin’ for the Lord.” I thought of this song as I read from Matthew chapter 25 recently.


In Matthew 25, 10 virgins were preparing for a wedding. Jewish custom at that time was for the bride and her attendants to be ready because the groom would suddenly appear once he had the home ready, to which he would take the bride. Jesus reminds His listeners that the virgin attendants must carry extra oil, for renewal of their lamps, during the festivities. Seriously, if they were not prepared with enough oil they would not be admitted to the feast (Matthew 25:10-12).


Considered sacred, oil was used for anointing kings, a sign they were chosen by God. The Psalmist saw it as a sign of God’s blessing “Thou anointest my head with oil – my cup runneth over (KJV - Psalm 23:5). Oil is referred to as precious (Psalm 133:2); it was also used to soothe wounds (Isaiah 1:6).


Oil represents the Holy Spirit in scripture. At the beginning of His ministry Jesus quoted verses from Isaiah “The Spirit of the Lord is on me because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor….” (Luke 4:18). Peter records “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power” siting subsequent healing of those under the power of the devil (Acts 10:38).


Is your lamp ready, filled with oil?

How does the oil of the Holy Spirit minister in and through your life today?

What hope does the symbol of oil bring to your future?

Was the gift of the Holy Spirit prompted by God’s love for mankind?

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