15Catch all the foxes, those little foxes, before they ruin the vineyard of love, for the grapevines are blossoming!Song of Songs 2:15
There is one other place in scripture where foxes are utilized to ruin the crops. Check this out . . .
4Then he went out and caught 300 foxes. He tied their tails together in pairs, and he fastened a torch to each pair of tails. 5Then he lit the torches and let the foxes run through the grain fields of the Philistines. He burned all their grain to the ground, including the sheaves and the uncut grain. He also destroyed their vineyards and olive groves.Judges 15:4-5
If you have time, read the whole story in Judges 14 and 15. If not, here is the cliff notes version – this is a story of Samson’s anger unchecked. He marries a woman his parents don’t approve of and during the wedding festivities, he gives 30 men a riddle they can’t solve until they blackmail Samson’s new wife to get the answer. When they answer correctly, Samson is furious and leaves his wife with her father and returns home. Later, he decides he needs a conjugal visit but her father has given her to someone else. Again, Samson is furious. And he ruins the fields of the Philistines with foxes.
Another illustration of foxes in the vineyard – in this case, also in the grain fields. It is Samson’s anger and, perhaps his pride, that gets him in to trouble in the first place. And it is his anger that causes him to vengefully destroy the fields, vineyards and olive groves of the Philistines.
Pride, with the anger that often accompanies it, is the little fox. The other side of pride’s coin is humility. Humility is defined as “having a consciousness of one’s shortcomings or defects, modest, not proud and not self-assertive.” Samson didn’t seem to be cognizant of his defects – he thought himself invincible.
Applying the antidote for pride is two-pronged. First, the responsibility to be humble lies with the individual. James puts it like this
. . . As the Scriptures say,“God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”7So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8Come close to God, and God will come close to you.James 4:6-8
One must humble herself before God. That simply means recognizing her faults, shortcomings and defects. By the way, we all have them so it shouldn’t be that hard. But for some reason, it is.
The second prong, tightly wound to the first, is living like Jesus. Check this out
5You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. 6Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.Philippians 2:5-7
Here’s the truth. I’m really not that important. Jesus was actually important yet he chose to lay that aside and become a human! Now that’s humility.
Here’s my problem. I want to be important in the eyes of . . . someone. So, I develop an attitude of pride about my skills, abilities, gifts, possessions, position – something. I need you to believe I am important.
Jesus said, “I know who I am and what you think about me doesn’t matter.” He chose to put himself in a position of humility.
How do you start? I believe it is best accomplished by asking Jesus this question, “How did you humble yourself?” In his answer is all you need to know.
My prediction is that very few will stop to actually ask Jesus that question and converse with him about it. That’s okay. It only affects the here and now. But for those who do, be prepared for some really life changing interaction with the Creator of the world!
Happy Hump Day!