The Foxes

Song of Songs 2:15 “You must catch the foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together (Passion Translation).”

Foxes are sly creatures. They sneak about to kill and eat small animals and destroy property. Growing up near a farm, foxes weren’t far from many people’s minds. Our neighbors had to be extra vigilant because they had chickens and foxes loved to sneak around at night and pick chickens off for dinner.

So we have the King telling the Shulamite here to catch the foxes that raid and destroy the vineyard that the two of them are cultivating together.

 

The Vineyard

I talk about this private vineyard, or garden, often. The terms vineyard and garden are used interchangeably. I posted about this private garden before here on Song Lifestyle. However, it is such a special and intimate place with Mr. Mystery that I need to write about it again.

Song of Songs 8: 12 reads, “…my own vineyard of love, I give it all to you forever…” and then in verse 13 “My beloved, one with me in my garden…”

This garden is such a secret place. It’s the place on the inside that is reserved for just you and the Lord. Together. Just the two of you. Misty Edwards has a fantastic song about it.

Our lives with the Lord mostly takes place on the inside. This is your secret garden. This scripture about chasing the foxes is about cleaning up that secret place to make it a perfect home for you and the Lord (SoS 1:16-17).

 

It’s not about sin

Although chasing foxes out of your garden together with the Lord does include the removal of sin from you life, it’s not all about eradicating sin. This is the very root of the scandal of the gospel! Sin was removed from you when Jesus died on the cross. Romans 7 gives the example of a married woman who divorces her husband. If she marries another, she commits adultery; however, if her husband dies, she is free to marry without the shame of adultery. The same is true of the law in our lives. Jesus died and took the law and us with him. Then he was raised to life and we got to tag along on that journey too! We are free from the bondage of sin!

Paul begins this confusing tirade about wanting to do good but sin is right there with him (Romans 7:14-25). However, Paul isn’t saying that even though Jesus died and took away the sin of the world we’re still bound to the confines of sin. Just the opposite! Paul exclaims: “It is an agonizing situation, and who on earth can set me free from the clutches of my sinful nature? I thank God there is a way out through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Jesus, through his work on the cross, has provided a way out of our sinful nature!

So many people who have a problem with grace think that “grace preachers” are saying that there is no more sin on earth and that we cannot do wrong. That’s just not true and it’s not what these “hyper-grace” people are talking about. Paul is saying that because Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected (and co-crucified and co-resurrected us too) we get to be free from our sinful nature!

You are no longer a sinner! Stop saying you’re a sinner! You cannot be both a sinner and a saint and God has called you a saint!

Romans 8 proves this in all its intoxicating goodness: “8 1-2 No condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are “in” Jesus Christ. For the new spiritual principle of life “in” Christ lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death.

3-4 The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness—the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending his own Son Jesus Christ to live in that human nature which causes the trouble. And, while Christ was actually taking upon himself the sins of men, God condemned that sinful nature. So that we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, so long as we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit.

5-8 The carnal attitude sees no further than natural things. But the spiritual attitude reaches out after the things of the spirit. The former attitude means, bluntly, death: the latter means life and inward peace. And this is only to be expected, for the carnal attitude is inevitably opposed to the purpose of God, and neither can nor will follow his laws for living. Men who hold this attitude cannot possibly please God (J.B. Phillips).”

We aren’t condemned by sin as long as we are in Christ.

There is no worrying about whether you are “in” or “out” or not. Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart that Jesus is Lord and you’re in. In fact, the universal gospel (not universalism, calm down) is that ALL were saved when Jesus finished his work on the cross. All are saved; not all have come to the revelation of their salvation and living IN Christ.

It is clearly seen that God condemned sin in Jesus. The Law isn’t bad (Romans 7), in fact, it’s good. Man just couldn’t meet the stringent requirements until Jesus came along and did all the work for us. Now, because of the finished work of Christ, we meet the requirements of the law and sin is dead!

Back to those Foxes

Song of Songs 2:15 “You must catch the foxes, those sly little foxes that hinder our relationship. For they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you. Will you catch them and remove them for me? We will do it together (Passion Translation).”

It’s not up to me to tell you what the foxes are in your life. I do know that it’s not all about sin. It is my firm belief that God is less concerned about sin and more concerned about your heart. He’s a lover, not a pissed off King.

Notice the scripture says, “they raid our budding vineyard of love to ruin what I’ve planted within you….” and that they “hinder our relationship.” Foxes can be sin that you’ve allowed in your life. If that’s you, just stop it. You’re not living according to your new nature. You are not a sinner. You are a saint who is loved by God fully. Your relationship with God does not hinge on you “getting right with God” every day before bed. You are right with God. Period.

These foxes might be time or people or mindsets just to name a few. These “foxes” aren’t clearly defined in scripture per se. Maybe you binge watch a lot of Netflix and ignore God as a result. That could hinder your relationship with your Lover. Perhaps you work too much or have some friends who pull you down. Or maybe your friends are wonderful lovers of God but you spend so much time with them that you have no time with Jesus. Maybe it’s none of that and it’s something totally different. I didn’t even want to define “foxes” for you becuase I don’t want to put any yolk on you. Watching Netflix, working, hanging with friends are all good and holy and great things to do. Ask Holy Spirit if there are foxes in the garden. Then ask Jesus to remove them with you. He says he will!

I had a great vision the other night while I was thinking about this. I was putting my little boy to bed and while he fell asleep I saw me and Jesus in a beautiful garden. We were catching foxes. One would pop its head up and Jesus would take off laughing and catch it. He’d fall on the ground and roll around with it and then pop his head up from the tall grass, laughing hysterically and holding the fox by the tail, and say “I got him!” Then I would get one and then Jesus would get one. It wasn’t a serious thing. It was a joyful thing. It was funny. Jesus and I were catching foxes so that we could get more intimate. He wasn’t angry or disappointed. He was laughing and having the time of his life with me.

This is love.

This is life with Jesus.

This is the Song Lifestyle.

 

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