“Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.” – Song of Solomon 2:15.
Little foxes may be cute in real life, but in the context of the Bible, little foxes are also known as “wild dogs” or “jackals” (Lamentations 5:18). These animals love to eat grapes and they are therefore a threat to the growth of the vineyard.
How do these foxes ruin the vineyard?
Grown foxes eat the grapes on the vine but little foxes may faced difficulties reaching the grapes. As such, they chew on the vine from the bottom in order to reach the grape. However, in so doing, they ruin the vine. With more little foxes, the vineyard will be in complete ruin by the time the owner returns.
Believers are like vines, and our vineyard symbolises our Christian faith. When we allow little foxes to run around the compound of our vineyard, we are inviting sinful appetites to corrupt our faith, and destroy the grace we received from God and our relationship with God. Letting these foxes into our vineyard prevents us from coming to perfection in the eyes of God.
Besides, little foxes represents the little things in life that lead us away from God. They may seem “little” at first sight, but when we allow more little foxes into our lives, we are certainly inviting trouble.
“Your prophets have been like jackals among ruins, O Israel.” – Ezekiel 13:4.
“At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.” And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox, ‘Behold, I cast out demons and perform cures today and tomorrow, and the third day I finish my course.”
– Luke 13:31-32.
“I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the brothers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good. Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God.” – 1 John 1:9-11.
Likewise, grown foxes are easy to detect, but little foxes are challenging to one’s awareness.
Persecutors (Luke 13:31-32) and false prophets (Ezekiel 13:4) are grown foxes, but the “little foxes” are those that sow heresy and schism within the church or among the brothers and sisters (1 John 1:9-11).
Therefore, the Bible calls us to catch these little foxes as soon as we find them, and keep them away from our garden of faith.