The Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries and Water, located in Hobart, Tasmania reported in Sept. 2008 that since the red fox was introduced into Australia for recreational hunting in the 1870’s their rapid spread had resulted in an environmental and agricultural damage of over $200 million dollars annually!
Vineyards and orchards experienced fruit loss by foxes by the fruit either being eaten directly or being damaged to the point of being unsaleable. The foxes also chewed on irrigation devices further upping the cost by thousands.
Little foxes are nocturnal. “The foxes have holes,” said Jesus (Matt. 8:20). These burrows are often located under the vine root systems, weakening the vines, and malnourishing the grapes. Little foxes must be eradicated if one’s vineyard is to be saved.
This past Sunday Elder Don reminded us of the passage in Song of Solomon 2:15, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.” Foxes are always nasty critters in the Bible. Jesus once called Herod a “fox” (Luke 13:32).
Foxes, “spiritual foxes,” sin, hypocrisy, idolatry, get into our “vineyards,” our lives, easy enough. They get in, just as they did in Tasmania, by personal invitation — and often for “recreational” purposes. They dig into us too… they chew at the roots, in the dark, out of sight. But their presence can be known by the condition of our fruit.
As Elder Don asked, Are you growing in Christ-like graces or diminishing in them? You know where your foxes are, the Holy Spirit has been pointing them out to you, perhaps for a very long time. He will help you do what must be done but it is you who must do the deed of eliminating them.
There was one very good fox catcher in the Bible and he too had the Spirit of God empowering him. Yet, like you, it was up to him to do the deed of catching them. His name was Samson, and he once caught 300 of them (Read about it in Judges 15:4).
Once you rid your vineyard of foxes you must take steps to see they do not return. Jeremiah lamented, “Because of the mountain of Zion, which is desolate, the foxes walk upon it.” (Lam. 5:18). Don’t let your vineyard — your life, your spiritual life — grow desolate. Catch and remove those foxes today! Fill your vineyard with Christ!