Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes. (Song of Solomon 2:15)
The Little Things In Life
Vineyards were plentiful in Canaan providing a large source of the food supply in grapes, raisins, and juices. Construction of the vineyard began with a boundary trench dug, and posts were driven in to support a hedge or fence. As the vines grew, the branches were raised up on supports. During the months June to August the vines were pruned and cared for with harvest coming in August and September. After the grapes began to form, a shelter of branches or a stone tower was erected to help secure the vineyard against robbers and raiding foxes or jackals. The fox of Palestine was a small creature that enjoyed the fruit and often ruined the lower vines of the grapes. They would steal into an opening of the fence of a vineyard and nibble at the young shoots of the vines. They were small creatures about the size of a medium-sized dog but they could do a lot of damage.
Like the little foxes of Palestine, the little things in life can often bring more harm and problems than the expected looming problems easily identified. The owners of vineyards had a healthy respect for the little foxes because of the incredible amount of damage they could do. Many small things of life left unattended grow into larger problems. Sometimes it develops into the ruin of those who failed to attend to the matters early on. Small cuts and bruises left untreated can result in serious injury, disease, and sometimes death. Little things in a marriage left undone and uncared for will fester into resentment, distrust, and infidelity. Over time, a pebble of sand in a shoe will bring about great discomfort and disharmony and possibly injury. The husband and wife who allow small things to irritate and aggravate will often face the danger of marital dissolution. A marriage that began with deep love will dissolve under the pressure of small things that erode the heart of its soul.
Churches fall prey to the little things that Satan brings against the people of God. He intends to destroy the church. He does not always bring looming threats of persecution by “outside sources” but rather utilizes letting little foxes loose among the brethren who complain and murmur about little things. It may not be seeds of apostasy that destroy a church but the little things that cause disharmony and division. So often these little things do irreparable damage to the kingdom. In the present distress of 2020 many churches are asking its members to wear masks during services. This is a little thing in the scheme of eternal salvation. Wearing a mask may not be an enjoyable thing to do but it looks out for the interest of others in love considering the needs of others more than self. However, murmuring and complaining begin when some refuse to wear a mask and the little things begin to chip away at the harmony and peace of a congregation. Naaman of the Old Testament was reprimanded by his servants for not obeying the command of God by asking him if the Lord had told him to do some great thing, would he not have done it. Yet it was a small thing to dip in the Jordan and he refused.
There should never be a time when brethren allow small things to disrupt the work of the church. Having a mind like Christ is to view what He gave up to save mankind. Was it a small thing for Jesus to leave His Father and come to earth to die? Why should anyone balk at the small things of life to help others? The little foxes could do a lot of damage when left unchecked. There are plenty of dangers lurking outside the walls of the city of God that must be addressed. Do not let the little foxes or the small things of life bring greater harm to the family of God.