Catch The Little Foxes
Robert Wurtz II
Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Solomon 2:15 NKJV)
Our passage is an allegory dealing with love between individuals that is ever presently in danger of being spoiled. Vines are the place where fruitfulness takes place and this is where the ‘little foxes’ cause the damage. Foxes are notorious for their destructive power so the writer makes use of them in a figure to show us the importance of being vigilant about the things that foxes represent. What things? Things that try to spoil relationships between people; especially between Christ and His Bride or between individuals within the churches. The enemy makes use of ‘little foxes’ in our lives; little things that go almost undetected until it is too late. His objective is clear; spoil the vines. In a figure we might say that the enemy wants to nip love in the bud.
I recall as a child each year when my father would plant a garden. Although we never planted grapes, we planted many things that grew on vines; watermelons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. These plants were always subject to danger and had to be protected. Needless to say the kids were not allowed to play near the gardens as trampling through the vines or throwing balls into the garden would be a serious problem. Why? Recklessness has no place in a vineyard or a garden. They are tender vines. Relationships are tender as well. It’s the job of the gardener to protect the vines and it is the job of all of us to protect the relationships in our lives. Why? They are tender.
Catch us the foxes, The little foxes, says the scripture. These are big issues (foxes) and little issues (little foxes.) Notice the admonition, “Catch!” These cannot be allowed to run free. Relationships are complicated enough without allowing destructive forces to go unchecked. The big issues (foxes) are usually obvious, but what about the ‘little foxes’? What about the things that people do that cause problems and they don’t even realize it? What happens in relationships when one party feels like the other party should obviously know what they are doing and yet they are oblivious? People are not always intentionally obtuse. Sometimes they have been raised in a way that blinds them to the obvious. This is a dangerous situation. This can spoil a relationship. Whether or not it is intentional there are ‘little foxes’ that have to be caught and to catch them there has to be an attitude of believing that they just might exist.
I’m reminded of Nabal in scripture when it was said of him that “he is such a worthless man that one cannot speak to him.” (1 Samuel 25:17b ESVS) Catching little foxes means we have to be willing to take inventory and listen to criticism. God forbid, that if we are as Nabal, we will live fruitless lives and be as clueless as anything. Also, if we believe our own press we are surely doomed to failure. Pride is a killer when it comes to catching little foxes. Sometimes we feel so spiritual that we could not possibly be off track. I think of Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah when he went near and struck Micaiah on the cheek, and said, “Which way did the spirit from the LORD go from me to speak to you?” (1 Kings 22:24) He believed he was God’s man for the hour, but he was deceived. He refused to hear what God was really saying and decided rather that he was the only person that could possibly be right. His attitude was evident and destructive. Catching little foxes means we have to be somewhat self-mistrusting. We have to open our eyes to see areas where we have been blinded for years before the vines are totally ruined and an opportunity for fruitfulness is lost. We have to be teachable.
Relationships cannot become one sided. We read in Romans 15:1, But we who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not just please ourselves. Did God just say that we ought not to please ourselves? Indeed He did. This means that we are watchful for things that become ‘little foxes’ – ruining a relationship simply because it is something we are doing to please ourselves. Again we read, Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. One of the fastest ways to ruin love is to become selfish and inconsiderate of others. Love does not impose on others, but rather as we read in song of Solomon draws a person out into love. This is a powerful picture of Christ and the Church; yet we can apply these truths in our everyday lives and in the churches of God. We must watch and catch things before they have a chance to spoil. We have to ask God to show us the little foxes in our lives.
Catch The Little Foxes