Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. Song of Solomon 2:15
King Solomon drops this metaphor into the middle of his celebration of love. There are threats to every relationship which can be described as “little foxes.” The vineyard which has been carefully cultivated to bear delicious fruit may be stalked by little destructive foxes that creep in under the cloak of darkness to spoil the crop.
So it is with our relationships with spouses, children, colleagues, church members – and our intimate relationship with Jesus, the Lover of our souls.
How disappointing! The Lover comes seeking the affection of the loved, only to find the clusters of fruit damaged. What happened? What destructive force caused this relational damage?
We must become aware of the “little foxes that spoil the vine.” They must be trapped, caught before they can do further damage to deepening relational wholeness.
In this verse, the maiden is asking her Lover to catch those foxes for the benefit of both of them. For us, this means that we determine together that we will not let any little, subtle, unnoticed threat to our healthy love relationship with God and each other go unchallenged. Let’s identify the little foxes and deal with them.
Okay. It’s time to get specific. Let’s try to spot those cute, little furry creatures and name them.
How about false guilt, mistrust, jealousy, selfishness, pride, unforgiveness, bitterness, and gossip?
R. T. Kendal, in his excellent book, The Sensitivity of the Spirit, lists some little foxes: Self-pity, self-righteousness, defensiveness, talking too much, rushing, and pointing the critical finger. These foxes have been ruining family and church vineyards for years.
Here is my mid-week encouragement! The little foxes that spoil the vine can be dealt with in the power and grace of God. Most of these little dividers operate through lies. And we know who the “author of lies” is! The Spirit of truth will set us free from these lies, and the divisive, destructive effects of their subtle assault on our relationships.
Please understand that to look for little foxes is not a call to become critical of others. Look for them in your own heart and mind. We do not wrestle against flesh and blood (other people), but spiritual mischief of demonic origin. Our enemies are spiritual attackers that use deception to divide us from God and one another.
Your turn. I welcome your sharp eye in spotting “little foxes.” Comment, please, and send me your insights. Let’s unite and go fox hunting together.