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The maiden’s brothers warn of the “little foxes.“
Catch us the foxes,
The little foxes that spoil the vines,
For our vines have tender grapes. Song of Solomon 2:15
a. Catch us the foxes: It is somewhat difficult to understand who says these words, and to whom they are said. The translators of the New King James Version attribute them to the maiden’s brothers; many others believe these words come from the maiden herself and are spoken to her beloved. The plural nature of the statement is clear; the idea is that the foxes will be caught together with another person (the brothers or the beloved), and not by one person working alone.
i. “This verse is a problem. The verb form is imperative, masculine plural, but there is no indication whether the speaker is male or female. All that is clear is that ‘for us’ is plural.” (Carr)
b. The little foxes that spoil the vines: Clearly the maiden speaks poetically here, using the little foxes as emblems of that which would damage the love relationship she shares with her beloved. The idea is that their relationship is like a fruitful vineyard and the little foxes will damage the vineyard unless they are stopped and caught.
i. Glickman lists several “little foxes” that may trouble couples:
· Uncontrolled desire that drives a wedge of guilt and mistrust between the couple.
· Mistrust and jealousy that strains or breaks the bond of love.
· Selfishness and pride that refuses to acknowledge wrong and fault to one another.
· An unforgiving attitude that will not accept an apology.
ii. It is helpful to remember the wording of the verse: catch us the foxes. The job of catching foxes is teamwork. One partner in the relationship can’t expect the other do it all.
iii. Hudson Taylor thought of the “little foxes” that may ruin our relationship with Jesus Christ. “The enemies may be small, but the mischief done great . . . And how numerous the little foxes are! Little compromises with the world; disobedience to the still small voice in little things; little indulgences of the flesh to the neglect of duty; little strokes of policy; doing evil in little things that good may come; and the beauty, and the fruitfulness of the vine are sacrificed!”
c. For our vines have tender grapes: The maiden’s idea is that their relationship is both specially precious (tender grapes are best) and vulnerable, needing protection (tender grapes need to be guarded).
i. “The appeal is made here to outsiders to prevent ‘the foxes,’ those forces that could destroy the purity of their love, from defiling their vineyards, which are blossoming . . . So they plead for protection for the love that blossoms between them that nothing will spoil it.” (Kinlaw)
ii. Thinking allegorically, Spurgeon considered aspects in the life of the believer that were like tender grapes that were in danger of being spoiled by the little foxes. He considered these to be tender grapes in the life of the believer:
· A secret mourning for sin.
· A humble faith in Jesus Christ.
· A genuine change of life.
· A life of secret devotion.
· An eager desire for more grace.
· A simple love to Jesus.
iii. “If you have any sign of spiritual life, if you have any tender grapes upon your branches, the devil and his foxes will be sure to be at you; therefore, endeavor to get as close as ever you can to two persons who are mentioned hard by my text, namely, the King and his spouse. First, keep close to Christ for this is your life; and next, keep close to his Church, for this is your comfort.” (Spurgeon)
Source: http://www.enduringword.com online commentary by David Guzik
Most of us have wanted something so badly that even though we knew it was wrong, we plunged after it anyway. Later we have felt sorrow for our spiritual stubbornness and stupidity. In the aftermath of willfully disobeying God, we may become angry with ourselves, numbed by regret, or resigned to the consequences of our foolish mistake. But there is another choice.
When the people of Israel insisted on having a king despite the warnings of Samuel the prophet (I Samuel 8:4-9), God allowed them to have their way. But when they realized the tragic results of their choice, they asked for Samuel’s help and prayers (12:19). Samuel told the people, “Do not fear. You have done all these wickedness; yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart” (12:20)
We can’t undo yesterday, but we can act today to influence tomorrow. Samuel promised to pray for them and teach them the right way. He urged them, “Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you” v.24
God invites us to serve Him today, humbly acknowledging His forgiveness and His faithfulness. ~ David McCasland
Sins confessed you must forget;
Look not back to yesterday
Full of failure and regret;
Look ahead and seek God’s way. ~ D. De Haan
Don’t let yesterday’s failures bankrupt tomorrow’s efforts.
ODB Volume 19
Read: Psalm 68:1-10
“A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.” ~ Psalm 68-5
When our youngest son joined the Army, we knew that challenges lay ahead. We knew that he would face danger and be tested physically , emotionally, spiritually. We also knew that in some ways our home would never fully be his home again. In the months leading up to his departure, my wife and I steeled ourselves for these challenges.
Then the day came when Mark had to report. We hugged and said our goodbye’s and then he walked into the recruiting station, leaving me with a moment that which I was decidedly unprepared. The pain of that hard goodbye felt unbearable. At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I can’t remember when I have wept as hard as I did that day. The hard goodbye, and the sense of loss it delivered, cut me to the heart.
In such moments, I am thankful to have a heavenly Father who knows what it is to be separated from a beloved Son. I am thankful to have a God who is described as “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows” (Psalm 68:5). I believe that if He will also care for me and comfort me, even those moments when I face the struggles that accompany hard goodbyes.
When our loved ones say goodbye
And we have to be apart
God can fill our loneliness
With His presence in our heart. ~ Sper
Loneliness comes when we forget about the One who is always with us.
Source: ODB Vol. 19
“Approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense.”~ Philippians 1:10
I’ve received a lot of good advice in my life. Near the top of the list is this wise observation from a friend: “Life is not made by the dreams that you dream but by the choices that you make.”
He’s right, your life today is the sum total of all the choices you’ve made up to this point. The Apostle Paul gave similar advice in Philippians 1:10, when he said to “approve the things that are excellent”. In any given situation, we have a whole continuum of choices, ranging from really rotten choices, to the mediocrity of average choices, to choices that are good, and then to those that are excellent. God wants to move us across the continuum, past our natural impulses, all the way to excellent choices.
Often it’s challenging to make the most excellent choice, especially if there aren’t many others joining us. Sometimes it may feel as if our desires and freedoms have been suppressed. But if you follow Paul’s advice, you’ll notice some really positive outcomes, like being pure and blameless and fruitful (v.11).
Make the choice to live a life filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:22-23). Then revel the result!. ~ Joe Stowell
The little choices we must make
Will chart the course of life we take;
We either choose the path of light,
Or wander off in darkest night. ~ D. De Haan
Make an excellent choice and watch the ripple effect of blessing.
Source: ODB Vol. 19