This phrase comes from the book of Song of Solomon, (2:15?, NKJV) “Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.”
The Bible often uses picture language to help us understand deeper lessons.
Foxes appear to be innocent, but are actually crafty, clever animals. We may think that a beautiful little fox stealing a few grapes isn’t that harmful, but it can surprisingly do a lot of damage. When grapes are first starting to grow, they are delicate and easily snapped off the vine and destroyed.
Now let’s look on a deeper level. Let’s imagine we are the vines, and the grapes are our characters. Every day we are trying to develop positive qualities like God’s son, Jesus. We try to be loving, merciful, and obedient just like him.
Let’s think of the little foxes as small faults in our character that we may not even notice, like jealousy, dishonesty, and selfishness. For example, we might complain a little bit, act in a mean way, or speak carelessly, hurting someone’s feelings.
Sometimes it’s hard to make progress as we grow our Christian characters. God knows and understands that it’s hard, which is why He looks at our heart intentions – did we try our best? Did we apologize if we hurt someone? Did we pray for God’s forgiveness? Did we try to stop ourselves from doing something that we knew would not be pleasing to Him? God’s mercy towards us is shown in Psalms where it says, (103:13, 14, Good News Translation) “As a father is kind to his children, so the LORD is kind to those who honor him. He knows what we are made of; he remembers that we are dust.”
Just like the grapes that must be protected from the little foxes, we have to protect our characters from our little faults that we might not even notice. These can spoil (or even destroy) the positive, Christlike qualities we are trying to develop.
So, what are the “little foxes that spoil the vine”? The little foxes represent our small faults that can potentially do a lot of damage to our characters. The tender grapes represent our characters as we try to develop positive Christian qualities. Let’s guard ourselves from “the little foxes” – our little faults!
This video is from Christian Questions Podcast. For more information please go to https://christianquestions.com