DAYS OF RETURNING by Raphael ben Levi
The Jewish sage, Rabbi Eliezer was said to have told his disciples: “Repent one day before your death. As it is written in the Book of Eccles. 5:7 ‘Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord and put not off from day to day: for suddenly shall the wrath of the Lord come forth, and in thy security thou shalt be destroyed, and perish in the day of vengeance.’
His disciples responded: “Does one know what day you will die?” He replied: “Then, more reason that you repent today lest you die tomorrow. And Solomon too wrote: ‘Let your clothing be always white, and never fail to perfume your head.’” (Eccles.9:8)
Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, explained these things with a parable: “There was a king who summoned his servants to a banquet without appointing a time. The wise ones adorned themselves and sat at the door of the palace saying, “Is anything lacking in a royal palace?” However, the fools went about their work, saying: “Can there be a banquet without preparations?”
Suddenly the king desired the presence of his servants. The wise entered adorned, while the fools entered soiled. The king rejoiced at the wise but was angry with the fools and commanded: “Those who adorned themselves for the banquet, let them sit, eat and drink. But those who did not adorn themselves for the banquet, let them stand and watch.”
Yeshua put it this way: “For whoever has [spiritual wisdom because he is receptive to God’s word], to him more will be given, and he will be richly and abundantly supplied; but whoever does not have [spiritual wisdom because he has devalued God’s word], even what he has will be taken away from him – (i.e., will be destitute) Matt. 13:12
God has called us to be faithful custodians of the things He has entrusted us with, but He reprimands those who choose to remain spectators. The Laodiciean church is a sad example of this. (cf Rev. 3:14-19)
May we be like the wise servants who actively prepared for the banquet of the king, for His return is closer than we expect!