Text: Song of Solomon 2:15
By Bro. Sunny Ogumor
“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines.”
The scripture often uses the things of the world to teach us lessons about life. Isaiah 1:3 uses the ox and the donkey. David uses the horse and the mule Psm 32:9. Job refers to the beast and the birds Job 12:7. Here we are using little foxes to illustrate a lesson for us. Little foxes are very common in Palestine, and they like to eat grapes. They are fund of digging holes and often dug holes in the edges round the gardens and, unless they are strictly fenced off or prevented they would destroy the whole farm.
A little thorn may cause much suffering. A little cloud may hide the sun. Little foxes spoil the vines; and little sins do mischief to the tender heart. These little sins like the fox make some hole (impression) in the mind, and if not checked it will grow to that which is hateful to Christ that He will not hold comfortable fellowship and communion with us because the little fox has become permanent. A great sin may not destroy a Christian in the sense that the sinner quickly recognizes and make amend for repentance but a little sin can make him miserable. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will not walk people who are not trustworthy.
If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love, even as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. Jn 15:10. So, if thou would live with Christ and walk with Christ and see Him and have fellowship with Him, take heed of the little foxes that spoil the vines for our vines have tender crops.
We must recognize the need to bear fruit in our lives Jn. 15:1‐8.Christ is the true vine. Paul lists the fruit of the spirit that we must cultivate and bear in Gal. 5: 22‐23. We must be careful in our cultivation and be watchful for the little foxes that will spoil the crops. As you care for yourself also care for others. You are doing well but who is the little fox that hindered you from obeying the truth? Gal 5:7.
If someone tells you not to rely only on church of Christ what will be your reaction?
You plant your crops they start to grow but little negligence and unwatchfulness the crops will be destroyed by the little foxes. When you have developed interest in the true gospel let not someone spoil your mind, rebuke him.
The little foxes that can spoil the fruit of the spirit are small vices, and the small wrong attitudes that we often overlook. Gal 6:1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. these are faults that sneak in to overtake us.
Let us consider some examples of these Vices and wrong attitude which are the little foxes that spoil our spiritual growth.
- Selfishness is a little fox that spoils love (selfishness: looking after own desires; concern with your own interest, needs and wishes while ignoring those of others) this is a little fox that spoiled Saul’s love for David and Jonathan. 1 Sam 20:30‐32. Saul is angry.
1 Sam 18:12 And Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul.
1 Sam 18:22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king’s son in law.
We some time entice people for selfish reasons; lure people to destruction, why? Do not be agent of mischief.
- Discontent is a little fox that spoils joy: Esther 5:11‐13 And Haman told them of the glory of his riches, and the multitude of his children, and all the things wherein the king had promoted him, and how he had advanced him above the princes and servants of the king. Haman said moreover, Yea, Esther the queen did let no man come in with the king unto the banquet that she had prepared but myself; and tomorrow am I invited unto her also with the king. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Jew sitting at the king’s gate. Despite of all that Haman has, he is not happy seeing Mordecai as his sight always spoils his happiness. I hope none of us is in this category that hates somebody to the marrow?
Mordecai sight is an insult to Haman. A slight insult, which a humble man would scarcely notice, will torment a proud man like Haman, even to madness, and will spoil all his comforts. The man who knows not Christ, is poor though he be rich physically, because he is utterly destitute of what Christianity demands. And Haman played to the gallows.
- Worry is a little fox that spoils peace: Mt 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? Or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
Mt 6:32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. Darius cold not sleep because he put Daniel in the lion’s den this is when you punish some body unjustly you punish yourself.
Dan 6:18‐19 Then the king went to his palace, and passed the night fasting: neither were instruments of music brought before him: and his sleep went from him. Then the king arose very early in the morning, and went in haste unto the den of lions.
When you punish somebody you become worried and lose sleep.
- Impatience is a little fox that spoils longsuffering: Hebrews 10:35‐37 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Longsuffering is a trial of the patience of Christians but we are quick to look for an alternative but God has no alternative, it is for us to remain contented to continue our good works and to stay for our reward till God’s time to give it is come. He will come shortly to end all our sufferings, and he will give us the crown of life that we deserve. The Christian’s present conflict may be sharp, but will be soon over.
- Laziness is a little fox that spoils goodness; yahoo yahoo has taken over, bitcoin and Money Making Machine is the order of the day. But when you lose you will go away sorrowfully.
Prov 24:30‐32 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding; And, lo, it was all over grown with thorns, and nettles had covered the face thereof, and the stone wall thereof was broken down. Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked upon it, and received instruction. Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep: so shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth; and thy want as an armed man.”
Prov 24:33‐34. The worst of sluggards only ask for a little slumber he would be angry if he is accused of idleness. A little folding of the hands to sleep is all he wants, and he has a crowd of reasons to show that this attitude is a very proper one because man needs rest. Before he knows it the day is gone and the time for work is all gone, and the field is grown over with bush. Procrastination is the thief of time and by it men ruin their life. They have no intention to delay longer than necessary but minute into hour, into days, into months and a year is gone. For every hour wasted there is an excuse.
There is time for everything so says The Preacher but his season of grace is lost by little slumbers. Let us be wise to catch the flying hour, to use the moments of grace quickly. May the Lord teach us this sacred wisdom, so that poverty will not await us, because like a traveler steadily pursuing his journey poverty overtakes the slothful and ruin overthrows the undecided? There is no way laziness can bring good things.
- Doubt is a little fox that spoils faith: nothing destroys faith more than doubt. A doubtful man is a double minded person he is not stable in his ways. You pray and nest minute you doubt if your prayer will come through. You like Thomas Didymous;
John 20:25 – The other disciples therefore said unto him, We have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, Except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. When you ask God favor do not doubt we have been promised.
Mat 7:7‐ 8 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
- Pride is a little fox that spoils meekness: Good things only come from the almighty not by your power or might, for every achievement give God the glory.
2 Chr 26:15‐16 ‐ And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
Your success does not give you room to usurp the authority of the elders. Pride they say goeth before a fall.
- Love of pleasure is a fox that spoils self‐control: the prodigal son loves to be on his own but he lost self‐control. Luke 15:13 and not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living. Some people have no meaningful income but will pack out of their parent’s house I want to say on my own, I am matured enough. Go, but be careful not to lose self‐control else this little fox will spoil your spiritual growth.
Moses refused to be called the son of Pharaoh. Hebrews 11:24‐26 – By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.
Conclusion: Let us redeem the time for the days are evil. May the Good Lord help us catch the little foxes that will want to spoil our spiritual growth, in Jesus Name,