The more I work my garden myself, the more I find little things that were either broken or overlooked or done incorrectly. The problem for me is more work to repair things. The tasks take longer because little things were either broken or overlooked or done incorrectly resulting in large problems in the future. This reminded me of a Bible verse.
Consider the following Scripture from Song of Songs. Different people see this Bible book differently. I see this book as God’s Manual for Intimacy between a Husband and a Wife. This section is interesting, with Shulamith saying to Solomon:
SS 2:14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. 15 Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.
Verse 15 is about baby foxes doing damage in their vineyard. In height they are some 38 centimeters. They go through the vineyard, digging their holes and underground passages. This loosens the soil, preventing the vines from growing … and at times the vine roots are destroyed. The net result is lots of ruin to the vineyard and the potential harvest and the farmer’s income. In this case it seems as though the loss would be Shulamith and maybe Solomon’s.
The little foxes ruin the vineyard … Solomon, catch them … prevent the ruin! Remember, this is a Bible book with a spiritual message. God’s intent is not to teach methods of farming but to use examples and illustrations to assist spiritual progress.
It seems there were little problems in the relationship between these two people. Shulamith is using her experience and knowledge as the keeper of the vineyard to reflect upon her love relationship with Solomon. There appears to be little relational problems that could destroy their love just as the little foxes could destroy the vineyard.
If the keeper of the vineyard neglected to protect the vineyard, they would lose their investment. It was so serious that vineyards were surrounded by high walls to keep the foxes and other wild animals out. In fact, they even had “guards” … people keeping constant watch to prevent the work of “little fox” destruction.
Shulamith is really saying to Solomon … “sort out the problems we have and prevent them from returning.” That is, nip them in the bud immediately and don’t let them come back.
You and I have many levels of relationships that could be affected and ruined should the little foxes–that is, the little problems–not be dealt with and stopped.
There is God, the spouse, the family (children and siblings), the special friend (girlfriend/boyfriend), the friends, the neighbours, our morals, our ethics, etc. Boldly, I will say that each one of us have little foxes gnawing away at all of these relationships. We need to deal with them ruthlessly, because if we don’t, we will allow those little foxes to destroy our relationships.
Lord Jesus, please help me to identify those little foxes that seek to ruin my relationship with you and others so that I may, with the help of the Holy Spirit, deal with them decisively. Amen.