Song of Solomon 2:15 – Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes. (KJV)
I've lost count of the times I've experienced the heartbreak, or at least the enormous disappointment, after successfully growing plants, shrubs, or a vegetable crop to a particular stage, of watching while the growth suddenly became stunted and spoiled by some sort of little invaders or harsh weather. How about you?
In today's verse of Scripture, the phrase, "our vines have tender grapes", refers to vines with blossoms, which are sweetly fragrant and appear before the fruit actually forms. The little foxes are attracted to the tender branches of the blossoms. They spoil the vineyards by breaking and damaging these tender vine branches so that they cannot mature to their full potential of fruitfulness.
These little foxes hide and skulk about, doing their best to avoid detection. For the most part, they are nocturnal and operate in the dark. Selah! (Pause and calmly think about that.) Also, they don't root up or destroy the vines completely, but rather stunt the growth; therefore, the vines have no chance of bearing good fruit.
Figuratively speaking, the imploring phrase, "Take us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines", means "let us catch the little foxes that spoil the vineyard of our relationship". What then, are these little foxes, which can spoil the relationship between the Lord and the believer?
These little foxes are sometimes termed little sins, unseemly thoughts, adverse actions, inattentiveness, trivial pursuits, lures of the world, neglect in the relationship, taking for granted, and so on. These are the little foxes which are the enemies of our hearts and souls: hindrances to our fruitfulness, hindrances to the graces, comforts, and promises of God. These little foxes need to be caught, overcome, and driven out of the vineyard of our love relationship with our Lord.
May we ever remain close enough to hear our Lord say to us, and honest enough to say to Him, "Let us catch us the little foxes, for they are preventing the development of the full potential of fruitfulness in our relationship."
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that as we come to You, You are willing to come with us through our vineyard relationship to help us catch the "little foxes that spoil" the fruitfulness of our fellowship and our service to You. In Your caring, healing name, we come. Amen and Amen.