The Little Foxes
By C. Nuzum
Solomon's Song 2:15 says: "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines….” Grapes cannot be grown except on grape vines and if we let the vines be spoiled, we cannot get grapes. This is a figure of speech that is meant to teach us that little things that are wrong in our lives will keep us from getting the good things from God that we so greatly desire and that would give us great enjoyment and make us greatly useful.
We take care not to do things that are very wrong, but Satan often gets us to do things that do not seem to be great wrongs, and these are the ''little foxes'' that spoil our vines so that we fail to get the blessed things God offers to give us. God greatly desires us to have the good things He offers us in the Bible. He asks us to take these little foxes and not let them spoil our vines.
What Are the Little Foxes?
Wavering is a little fox. We do believe God and we know that all the Bible says is true. But our human nature is so strong in us that we try to see or feel or have some proof that what we believe is true instead of saying, "The Bible says so and that is all I need to know." We take this little fox of wavering by saying, "I do not need any proof at all. God's Word is more sure than all proofs. I can, I will and I do believe God's Word and refuse to even desire a proof of any kind."
Another busy little fox is the one that tells us God will do or is doing things that the Bible tells us God has done. Satan gets wonderfully holy and tells us God is so good that He will never fail us and if we just keep on asking and begging God for what we want, God is sure to do all we ask. Ah, that cunning little fox is trying to get us to disobey Christ’s own command to believe we get it when we pray (Mark 11:24).
We take this little fox by telling him we believed for it when we prayed and now have it, and go to thanking and praising God because He gave it to us when we prayed. The grapes or results these foxes would keep us from getting are the use and enjoyment of the things for which we have believed.
Another little fox is murmuring. This life is full of hard, trying and disagreeable things and people. We meet them all the time and it is so easy to murmur about them. The way we take this little fox is to obey God's command: "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice" (Phil. 4:4).
We rejoice because God says as sure as we love God, He will make all things bring us good (Rom. 8:28). God is almighty and can do it, and He is faithful and will do it. As we rejoice because of the good God will make these hard things bring us, we take the fox of murmuring.
Another little fox is sadness. Most sadness and sorrow are from Satan. Psalm 35:9 says, "My soul shall be joyful in the Lord." We take the fox of sadness by refusing to think of the hard, sad and trying things that are all about us and by fixing our minds on God and on all He has done for us and all He has given us and all He has promised us. The little fox of sadness cannot keep the sweet grapes of God's wonderful joy from us.
Another little fox is much talking. God says, "In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin" (Prov. 10:19). This means that when we talk much we sin. God cannot make a mistake. We disobey God by wasting time that He tells us to redeem, or by speaking evil, or tale bearing or taking up a reproach or it may be only the using of idle words that will not glorify God or help people. All of these things God forbids, and we must take this little fox by obeying God's commands to let our words be few, to study to be quiet, and to keep the bridle on our tongues and hold it so tightly that we have to stop talking and go to praising God.
Another little fox is discontent. God tells us that we must be content with whatever we have (Heb. 13:5). Another verse tells us to be content if we have just food and clothing (1 Tim. 6:8). We take the little fox of discontent by comparing what we have with Christ's poverty.
He was so poor He had nowhere to lay His head and so poor that certain women followed Him and ministered to Him. If He, the Son of God, was content with so little, we ought to be ashamed to not be content with what we have, when He is so much greater than we are. It will also help us to take this little fox if we look away from the present time to that long eternity that shall never end, where we shall have abundance.
Another little fox is thinking on the past. The Bible talks about forgetting the past and pressing forward (Phil. 3:13). The thought is that if we think on the past, it will keep us from gaining spiritually. The past is gone and we cannot change it, but if we use all our mind and efforts in the present moment, we can live a blessed, godly life. How unwise to waste our time thinking on what we cannot change instead of using our minds and efforts to so live this moment that we shall obey and please God and truly make a great advance in our spiritual growth and gain.
We take this little fox by saying, "No, the past cannot be made better, but I will make this moment better by seeing that I fully obey and please and glorify God in every thought, word and act of my life. I will praise and thank and rejoice in Him instead of wasting time by thinking on the past."
Another little fox tries to make us think of people and things. If people and things are not good, we greatly harm ourselves by thinking about them because God says we become like what we think about (Prov. 23:7). We may say, "Oh, I never would become like them because I hate them so much." But God, who cannot make a mistake or lie, says we do become like what we think about. It is true even if we will not believe it. How awful to become like what we hate!
We take this little fox by obeying God's commands to think on God, on the things that are good and true and lovely and on the things above where Christ sits. Then we get the rich, sweet, beautiful grapes of being like God, being good and lovely and being a heavenly people. Oh, what delicious fruit we get when we will not let the little foxes spoil the vines! How richly it pays us to obey God and take the foxes!
Another little fox is the cares of this life that God says choke out the things of God. The way to take this little fox is to obey God who tells us to cast all our care on Him, and there will not be any care left for us to bear (1 Pet. 5:7). God tells us if we seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first, and then afterwards attend to the cares of this life, that God will add to us all the earthly things we need (Matt. 6:33).
Another little fox is neglect. We do truly love God and intend to live for Him and serve Him, but we are so busy and occupied that we neglect to do the things we intend to do for God. The little fox keeps saying, "Oh, yes, you will do it when you are not so busy (or tired or when it is more convenient)." We take this little fox by saying, "God says 'Now is the accepted time.' Now is the time God demands. I will honor Him by serving Him first and not last. I will do what God wants even if I never get to do what I want to do." As we do this we honor God, and God says them that honor Him He will honor (1 Sam. 2:30). He honors us by enabling us to not only do what He wants us to do but He enables us to get all we really need to have done finished also.
There are many little foxes that are so small we do not realize how they keep us from getting fruit. All the blessed, glorious things that God offers to us in the Bible are the fruit God longs to see us have, use and enjoy. He tells us He has given them to us, but if we do not take the many little foxes that hinder, we shall not get to use and enjoy the blessed things we need so badly.
God calls them fruits because fruit grows on the vine that is planted, nourished and protected. God wants us to have everything He offers to us in the Bible. We must be planted in Christ by being born again and then watered by constantly reading and obeying the Word of God. Then we must watch and take every fox, no matter how little it is. Otherwise the little foxes will cause us to fail to do all God tells us to do in the way God tells us to do it and at the time God tells us to do it. What rich, sweet, refreshing, satisfying fruit of the Holy Spirit God wants to give us, and will give us for ourselves and for others through us!