The Preoccupied Reply
The maiden hears the new call of her beloved and sees his attitude and obeys his call to arise; his command to forget the things that are in the past; she listens to his message about the Cross; to his call to turn her face toward him, but . . . she does not understand! She is pre-occupied. She evidently has her eyes on the vineyard, and its promise of fruit; “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards,” she says (Song 2:17), She is worried that her growth isn’t fast enough, she‘s spending too much time trying to keep up the vineyard.
In his chambers, she realized she spent so much time and energy in active service that she neglected her own vineyard. Now she is overreacting and so occupied with her own vineyard, she cannot understand his new call. She is afraid that she is going to lose the experience of his indwelling, and begins to worry about the vines spoiling.
Some little foxes that are appearing shock her — little manifestations of the old life she thought were gone, and gone forever. Had she remained occupied with the Lord, and quickly obeyed when he said, “Rise up,” he would have taken care of the young fruit, and the little foxes. He can only manifest his deliverance and strength on our behalf while we are walking in his will.
The little foxes always show us that somewhere we have failed to keep step with the Lord. Somewhere we have missed his will or failed to understand his voice. We have to deal with God over these little foxes quickly because they open the door to great big ones if they are not dealt with at once.
Be careful, because little foxes will hide themselves behind the vines and if they go unnoticed, they can easily destroy the fruit of the vine. Just like the waves that eat away at the shore, with the destruction so subtle, so gradual, that it goes without notice, so these little foxes will eat away at our spiritual life and eventually our physical life. The little foxes show themselves in our foolishness, pride, spreading strife and slander, backbiting, anger, laziness, profanity, complaining, lust, gluttony, discontentment (Ecclesiastes 10:1; Proverbs 16:18, 28, 32; Proverbs 18:9, 13). These are just a few of the little foxes that spoil the vine. I am sure you can think of more yourself. But remember that these little foxes hide. They may not be necessarily grave sins, but they can grow to become some pretty nasty beasts. We must be wise and discerning and also have a caretaker (a Pastor) who is able to help us watch. We need to listen to counsel and accept discipline and rebuke (Proverbs 19:20; 20:30; 27:5.6).
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