“Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes” (Song of Solomon 2:15).
The fascinating love story in Solomon’s song contains many intriguing pictures. One is of a beautiful vineyard in early spring, likened to the young love of a bride and bridegroom. The vines, however, are threatened by little foxes that come in to eat the tender grapes before they are ripe, like selfish little words and deeds that tend to cool the growing love. Thus comes the plea to capture (“take”) the foxes and prevent them from spoiling the vineyard.
An obvious spiritual application is to the subtle danger of so-called “little sins” that undermine a believer’s love and service for his Lord. Even the most “separated” Christian, active in witnessing and Christian service, may easily allow some little sin of habit or attitude to hinder the production of real and lasting fruit in his vineyard.
Consider some of the “little foxes” of attitude, for example. We are commanded not to worry about anything (Philippians 4:6). Also, “ye have need of patience” (Hebrews 10:36). Perhaps the most deadly of all sins is that of pride, “for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble” (I Peter 5:5). An unforgiving attitude is also deadly, for “if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:15). Discontent is another. “Be content with such things as ye have” (Hebrews 13:5).
The varieties of “little foxes” that spoil the vines are almost without limit, and probably all believers allow at least some of these into the vineyard of their lives all too easily and too frequently. Somehow it is much easier to see these marauders infesting the vineyards of others, but by God’s grace, let us seek to see, and catch, and banish the “little foxes” that have entered our own gates before the fruit is gone and the vines are spoiled. HMM