Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. Song of Songs 2:15.

Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:

You think your bones, your house, your dream, your marriage, your finances, your heart, and whatever else goes down in your life, collapsed suddenly and you blame the person and the last event that finally took it down, but the gnawing began many years before. It is what I call the “little foxes.”

Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom. Song of Songs 2:15.

What are the little foxes? Envy, jealousy, offense, depression, bitterness, resentment, anger, complaining, grumbling, cursing—these little foxes gnaw away at your bones, your house, your dream, your marriage, your finances and whatever else you have in your life that is in bloom until they have gnawed it all away.

If you study foxes, you will find they chew and gnaw on things, in fact, just about anything. If they get in your garage or carport they will gnaw and chew at the wiring in your car and you will not be aware until your breaks go out. They chew on the toys your children drop in the yard. They gnaw at your house if they get under it. And little by little they will destroy your garden, your home, and anything else they can get ahold of to chew and gnaw on. And you are not aware until it goes out.

Resentment, blame, pointing the finger in accusation of others, acting in oppression of others, lying, taking things that are not yours and concealing them, envy, jealousy, grumbling and complaining, embezzling, depression, ingratitude, road rage, cruel words, unjust deeds, adultery, rude words, lying, taking offense and harboring it for years, judgmental words, hate, anxiety, stress, and fear tolerated, these things gnaw away at your bones, your organs, your heart, your brain, your marriage, your relationships, your job, your strength, and your very life. And suddenly the final event will cause the collapse, and how great that crash will be, and you will hatefully blame the last person or thing that was there when it fell. But it all began years before. Why? You did not catch the little foxes.

So how do you catch these little foxes? For they hide and gnaw quietly under the foundations of the house, behind the flourishing plants as they bloom in the springtime of your life, and in every dark nook and cranny where there is clutter piled up. Watch your thoughts and watch your joy level. If your thoughts are tormenting you, the little foxes are gnawing. If you have no joy, the little foxes are gnawing away and you wonder what is wrong with your life.

Paul understood about little foxes. He chased them relentlessly. He advised you, “Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are members of one another. Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity. He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome (mean, rude, offensive) word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:25-32.

And he continues going after the little foxes: “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him— a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all. So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.”  Colossians 3:5-17.

Do you remember Joseph, the son of Jacob, whom his brothers tossed in a pit and then sold into slavery? That was not a sudden event on the spur of the moment, though it seemed to be. For years Joseph’s brothers had the little foxes gnawing away in them with jealousy, envy, bitterness, resentment, and, finally, hatred for their own brother. But Joseph did not let them unleash their little foxes into him. He kept out all the little foxes. He refused to speak ill of his brothers. He never shared with anyone what his brothers had done to him. When asked why he was in prison in Egypt, he merely stated he had been taken by force out of Israel and had done nothing that deserved his being in prison. No mention of the brothers or Potiphar’s wife. And Pharaoh was pleased to meet Joseph’s brothers many years later and invited them to come to be cared for by him. Joseph had never even mentioned his brothers. That was no longer a story of his life. All he saw was triumph of dreams come true. And he was grateful, diligent, and excellent in all he did.

Joseph did not let the sun go down on his anger and he allowed no bitter root to take root in his heart. He later told his brothers that they had meant what they did to harm him but I had turned it into something good that saved many lives. So he told them to fret about it no further and have no fear he would retaliate. They never understood their brother. They always thought he was just waiting to get even. They did not understand a man who had never let a little fox gnaw at his bones. Joseph walked with Me, so you know he walked in love. And love heals, raises up, and covers a multitude of sins. And in love, he had joy. And when you have fullness of joy, little foxes are completely shut out. There is nothing they find that they can gnaw on. Good news makes the bones strong and a cheerful heart does good like a medicine.

With all diligence guard you heart, for from it flow the issues of life. Guard your heart against all the little foxes. Catch them and take every thought obedient to Christ. Probably you should tie all their tails together and torch them out of your life. Samson had the right idea about foxes.

I love you. Let Me help you be alert to the little foxes. But the best way to defeat them, is never to talk about the hurts, resentments, abuse, and wrong behavior of others. And depression is one of the worst little foxes you can let in, that one gnaws away very quickly. Why feed the foxes? Just starve them by giving them no place in your heart. Be thankful.