"Catch for us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vineyards; For our vineyards are in blossom."
Son 2:15 WEB
Catch the foxes, the little foxes, before they ruin our vineyard in bloom. GNB
Catch for us the foxes...
There are little foxes, imperceptible and tiny. They are the spoilers that destroy the vineyards from within. They are the enemy from the very inside. They eat up my relationship with you with little or no notice. They work their destruction without any fanfare. They do not look like anything to pursue. They even look like part of the plants. Yet, they are focused on their purpose. Their vision is to destroy and to bring decay to the vineyards when they are blooming. Lord, help me to catch the little foxes that seek to spoil the vines.
The first wisdom I am hearing you release to my heart here is that I must locate and localise the little foxes and lay hold of them. I must identify the foxes within the vines. I need to set trap for the foxes and bring it out for what they are lest they spoil all that God is doing in my life and all He desires to do through me in his Church at this time. Little foxes! They do not appear bogus. They do not appear imposing. They appear so little that it will pass without notice. O Lord, help me to catch the little foxes within my bosom, lest they spoil what You are doing in my life.
I need to know this very firmly that what spoiled great works are not great mistakes. They are not big issues. If it were, most men will avoid them. The foxes are little and almost inconsequential in outlook, but the consequences of their damage is colossal. What brought great men on their backs were not big stumbling blocks, they were little foxes. They destroy not by power but by a definite strategy of introducing decay into the entire basket of their lives. What a wisdom I must learn of you today! "One rotten apple will spoil a basket full”. Wisdom is more powerful than weapons, yet one mistake can destroy all the good you have done. Eccl.9:18(CEV)
"Dead flies can make a whole bottle of perfume stink, and a little stupidity can cancel out the greatest wisdom."
Eccl.10:1 ( GNB)
If the foxes are very visible, many would have shouted and cried for help, but they are always so little that it does not raise any alarm. It does not appear as an emergency. This is the cry of my own heart today. Do not allow me to spoil this vineyard due to the negligence of what I may regard as so little in my life.
Moses finally could not make the Promised Land because of the little anger he allowed to remain within his own vines. It was nothing to cry about while the vine was not yet blooming. Little foxes are not a threat until the time of bloom in the vineyard. Little foxes are not a matter until when the vineyard is blooming. It is at the time of revival that this foxes find expression. Lord, check me out again at this point. Help me to know what it is that is dormant in my life today, but will revive and become so active with the coming revival. Weeds look dry when there is no rain, but as soon as the heavens open and showers of blessing flow from up above, the weeds also gets revived and draws on the nutrients of revival to grow. It actually grows faster than the real crop. Lord, help me to uproot these foxes at this time now in Jesus name.
No one noticed any foxes in the life of Gideon, while he was struggling to thresh the wine in the winepress of his father. It all seemed he had no problem with greed for honour. But when God had brought him into victory all round, he secretly longed for a monument for his personal memorial. He made a calf of gold like Aaron of old and it soon spoiled the revival for which he laboured.
The instruction to my heart this day is 'Catch for us the foxes ' I am so touched with the fact that you have identified with me. It is both my interest and your own interest. It is "for us" and that "us" is You and me. It is so assuring that these foxes concerns You as well as myself. Lord, I want to respond to You in this matter. I must not spoil this vineyard that is both Yours and mine. I am involved, just as You are. I must recognize that this life is no more my private property. You have invested into me and it cannot be handled as if it is my own exclusively. Lord, I can see that it is "for us". It is also for the Church. It is a big cheat on the Body of Christ if I should allow my life to be spoilt by these little foxes. It would have wasted their allocation of grace kept in my charge for this generation.
Help me to walk with this sense of responsibility. It is "for us" and not for me alone. I cannot go anywhere I like anymore because I carry in my bosom the valuable resources meant for several men in this generation. Catch for us the foxes!
"... for our vines have tender grapes."
The vines are corporately owned. This is yet another matter of your love for me. I have been brought into partnership with you in the things in which you have brought me to serve you in. Not just a worker but a shareholder. You have given me a share with You. I have been made a joint heir with you in all these things that God is placing in your hands, my Lord and Master Jesus. I must walk in this light. Thank You for this opportunity to belong to You and to be a co-sharer with You in your inheritance.
The very place where the little foxes like to hide is in the heart. It is the same place the best affection for the Lord must be hatched, yet the little foxes have chosen it to be their nest. I must arise with all diligence today to guard my heart and to check it night and day to be sure the foxes have not dug their holes within. God’s dear servant of blessed memory, F.B. Meyer had this to say in one of his devotional commentary, and I have found it of a tremendous help to my soul and I have quoted it here without any alteration:
"IN MOST of the old castles there is an inner keep, which is protected, not only by mighty walls and bastions, but by the portcullis at the gate, and sentries at every approach, who challenged every one that passed in and out. So the heart is continually approached by good and evil, by the frivolities and vanities of the world and the insidious suggestions of the flesh. It is like an inn or hostelry, with constant arrivals and departures. Passengers throng in and out, some of them with evil intent, hoping to find conspirators, or to light fires that will spread until the whole being is swept with passion, consuming in an hour the fabric of years to ashes.
We need, therefore, to be constantly on the watch; we must keep our heart above all else that we guard, for out of it are the issues of life (R.V. marg.). Our Lord says that "out of the heart of man come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, thefts," etc. The devil and the world without would be less to be feared, if there were not such strong tendencies to evil within--many of them inherited from long lines of ancestors, who, alas! pass down to us the worst features of their characters equally with the best.
Keep it Clean. Just as the eye of the body is perpetually washed with tear-water, so let us ask that the precious blood of Christ may cleanse away any speck of impurity. Remember how delicate a thing the heart is, and how susceptible to the dust of an evil thought, which would instantly prevent it becoming the organ of spiritual vision. Sursum Corda! Lift up your hearts! We lift them up unto the Lord!"
Make me sensitive O Lord, not just to great and bogus things but to little foxes that spoil the vine. I must keep on the watch for the creeping tiny things that seek little crevices into my heart and into my affairs. As the vineyards blossom, I must expect the strange stream of these destroyers, whose appetite is for the tender grapes. Imperceptible little dead flies must not spoil this ointment for me and for the household for which I hold these things in trust. Help me to end well in Jesus name.