“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song of Songs 2:15)
In the context of developing a romantic relationship that can mature into the nucleus of a stable family, what’s the meaning of catching foxes in the vineyard?
Foxes needed to be removed from the vineyard. I believe there are three activities of foxes that cause problems. In digging they destroy the roots; in playing they damage the shoots, and in eating they devour the fruits. Since this verse addresses damage that occurs while the vineyards are in bloom, root destruction and shoot damage are the concerns.
Foxes den underground and do some of their own digging in preparation for their early spring litters. The pups are committed to excessive and boisterous play. They also love chewing on anything they can stick their needle sharp teeth into. They could become a destructive force in the vineyard.
The verse says to catch the little foxes. In addition to them being destructive, they are easier to catch. Any fox trapper will tell you that trying to catch older foxes can be extremely challenging.
Established by God, marriage has stability and moral values to individuals and to societies. Each spouse needs to be diligent to get rid of destructive influences. Those little problems that are not dealt with will grow into destructive forces that are very difficult to deal with. A God-touched relationship results from being guided by his Spirit.
Amazingly, several kingdom songs were inspired by this chapter in the Song of Songs. “Rose of Sharon,” “Lily of the Valley,” and “He Invites us into His Banquet Hall” are all phrases taken directly from this chapter. Catching foxes also has kingdom application. In the Lord’s church, peacemakers catch foxes while they are little. Ah, the glorious kingdom of the Lord has many tender blossoms. First, we must look to ourselves. Have I become callous to someone elses fragile condition? Then with great resolve, let’s carefully catch the little foxes before they destroy even one little blossom.
Author: Al Cornell
Adult Ministry Leader Tomah Church of Christ