Spoiling Our Witness (Mean Christians)

Spoiling Our Witness
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 the love between individuals that is always in danger of being spoiled. Vines are the place where fruitfulness “happens” and this is where the “little foxes” do damage. Their destructiveness is predictable and preventable. Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived second to the Lord Jesus, makes use of them figuratively to demonstrate why vines that ought to yield fruit are yielding failure

In the Greek Old Testament (LXX), the word spoiled is aphanizontas and it is translated as “disfigure” (their faces) in Matthew 6:16;  “corrupt” (moth and rust doth…) in Matthew 6:19; “Perish” in Acts 13:41; and “vanish away” in James 4:14. This is the semantic range of the word… it means anything from disfigure to vanishing away all together. In other words, from damage to total loss.  

What are the “little foxes” that cause failure at the vines? Understand that we are destined, as the saints of God, to bring forth fruit unto God. Just as God told Adam in the Garden of Eden to be fruitful and multiply — so too Jesus (the Last Adam) told the disciples, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19–20 NKJV). This is God’s will. This is our job. The enemy knows this and is working relentlessly to hinder or stall this process completely. How does he do it?

Fruit Carries the Seed

In Genesis God ordained that all trees should bring forth fruit after their own kind. In fact, the fruit carries the seed of the next generation of trees. If we carry this thought into the kingdom of God, we can understand the relationship between the fruit of the Spirit and the ministry of the word of God. If a Christians’ fruit has been “spoiled” the seed of God’s word is hindered. Think about it. Have you ever met a Christian who talked about Jesus and yet their behavior spoiled their testimony? I have seen it several times in the workplace. One minute they try to witness to someone and a few days later they attack the person in some way. We have all probably observed this and were very saddened. In the business world a salesman would never attack their customer. They have more sense than that. That would be a good way to lose a client. However, Jesus said… for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light.” (Luke 16:8b KJV) They treat their prospects with courtesy and kindness. Nevertheless, some Christians understand these things when it comes to losing a sale... but not when it comes to losing a soul. 

Some professing Christians are like “little foxes.” Satan makes use of them to damage and disfigure the testimony of Christianity and the Church. Their bad behaviors and attitudes get ignored or excused until it’s too late and the damage is done. The “little foxes” spoil the vines (souls of people) before they have a chance to be fruitful; or they destroy the “tender grapes” that are starting to grow on the vine. If he can’t nip these people in the bud he will destroy them while they are tender. We must be aware of this strategy and be quick to deal with “little foxes” when they rear their destructive heads. 

Tender Blossoms

As a child my father planted a fruit and vegetable garden every spring. Although he never planted grapes, he planted many things that grew on vines; watermelons, cantaloupe, tomatoes, cucumbers, etc. He knew these plants were always subject to danger so he took steps to protect them. The garden was set up as a sanctuary of sorts where fruits and vegetables could thrive. It was common knowledge that people and animals were to keep out. Children were not allowed to play football or baseball near the gardens lest they trample through the vines recovering their stray balls. Why? Recklessness has no place in a vineyard or a garden. Plants have tender vines and they must be protected. Likewise, people who are growing in their relationship with Jesus Christ must be protected within the churches.

Real Danger

Catch us the foxes, The little foxes, says the scripture. Notice the admonition, “Catch!” This implies great diligence. Solomon was writing about a marital relationship. In the same figure the New Covenant is a marriage contract. People come into relationship with Jesus Christ by covenant to become members of the Bride of Christ. Anything or anyone who obstructs or endangers this process must be “caught” and dealt with. Anything or any person that is putting souls at risk must be swiftly dealt with no matter what or who they are. This is one area where we cannot afford to “overlook” destructive behavior. 

In modern times churches go to great lengths to protect children from sexual abuse because of all the scandals that have happened in the Catholic church. They run background checks on the workers; set up special “safe” areas where only authorized persons can be; etc. Yet some of these churches will overlook a mean-spirited person and allow them to teach and handle children. There are many wonderful teachers who have been faithful to do God’s work over the years; however, the time would fail to list all the times that I have personally known of so-called Christian workers to offend children. These offenders destroy the works of those who were faithful. What happens? The offended child grows up angry at the church and you never see them again. It is a hard saying, but while they were yet young and tender, people who had no business working with children offended them and destroyed them “on the vine.” They should have been “caught” and dealt with. Sadly, they never were.

Kids will be kids. If a person has a bad spirit they have no business being involved in ministry. They need to be sat down and dealt with so that God can bring them to repentance. God doesn’t care what their title is or what their name is. Did God really mean that we ought not to please ourselves? Indeed He did. Was Solomon right when he told us that foxes were destroying the vines? Indeed he was. Did he tell us to catch and deal with them? Indeed he did. This means that we are watchful for things that are trying to spoil God’s work. Things that are offending people unnecessarily and destroying their relationship with God. Again, we read, Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes. Recognize and mark the people who tend to act mean to children and old people. Deal with them. 

Catch The Little Foxes

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 vinesIn a figure we might say that the enemy wants to nip love in the bud. 

Tender Blossoms

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. 

Unseen Dangers

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 thathe 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. 

Pleasing Others 

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.  

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