“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.” Song of Solomon 2:15 ESV
It appears strange that the bride-to-be in this Scriptural story appears to be encouraging her fiancé to stage a fox hunt!
Yet to Solomon’s readers, foxes represented potential damage to gardens and vineyards, so if a blossoming vineyard speaks of the growing romance of the couple, she is saying, “Let’s take preventative measures to make sure our future is successful.”
Great words of counsel for anyone looking ahead in life with optimistic hope.
Now in our own gardens of life, it’s seldom a trampling by elephants that we must guard against. I’ve never seen a pachyderm anywhere near my garden. But little foxes? Those could present a problem. It’s those seemingly insignificant things in life that can have the accumulative effect of an explosion somewhere down the line.
No man ever gets up one morning and says, “I think I’ll have a full blown affair today and do it in such a way that it wrecks my wife, children and future.” That’s an ‘elephant approach.’ The little fox says, “Let’s just flirt a bit … meet after work for coffee.”
No one sets out to become a meth addict who has lost everything including teeth, self-respect and any hope of a long, good life. That’s the ‘elephant approach.’ The little fox says, “Just a little recreational pot … just enough ‘coke’ to fit in with my peers.”
It’s not anyone’s dream to weigh twice their normal weight and find life diminishing daily as their appetite for food increases. That’s the ‘elephant approach.’ The little fox says, “That tasted too good to stop at one … I’ll take control over my food addiction when it becomes really serious.”
I know of no one who suddenly decided to become a reprobate, moving as far from God as they could possible travel. It’s not a morning decision to throw away all spiritual moorings and by evening drift as far from faith as possible. That’s the ‘elephant approach.’
No … little foxes would never destroy a marriage, physical health or spiritual vitality. They would simply ‘spoil’ by introducing questions, promoting apathy, making sure the ‘long view’ is never considered. They would make certain that life becomes so hectic, or exciting or difficult that we give up on the future for the pressures and needs and pleasures of today.
To keep your garden safe, your relationships flourishing, your health looked after and your walk with God vibrant and growing … quit worrying about elephants and start hunting the little foxes.
Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NLT
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the
renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2 NIV