Vines That Promised Well But Ended Up Spoiled
What a sad commentary it is when someone who is mightily used by God falls to sin. Many are forced to ask - "What happened? How can this be? How can someone seemingly so strong in the Lord be so weak? Where did he go wrong? He helped others, yet he couldn't help himself." Prayerfully, this message will supply the answer to all of these questions and issue a strong warning to all to "watch and pray" lest you fall into the same plight.
"Ah! be on your guard against the small things - the small unkindness, the first bad word, the first untruth, the first disobedience."
- Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
"Little sins are real sins. A little fox is a real fox. A little tiger is a real tiger. A little serpent is a real serpent. The smallness of it does not alter its nature."
- Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
"The most deplorable failures in Christian consistency and uprightness may, generally, be traced back to a very small departure from duty."
- Biblical Illustrator - Old Testament
"Whatever we find a hindrance to as in that which is good we must put away."
- Matthew Henry
In Proverbs 4:23, we read - "Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." In other words, what Solomon was saying here was - "With more diligence than men use over anything else, keep your heart. Keep a strict eye on it. Let no evil enter in it. Keep a watchful eye...keep a strict hand...and maintain a holy jealousy over your thoughts and affections."
At no time are we to become nonchalant or complacent in our duty. Sin or false doctrine which would lead to a lifestyle of sin is to be avoided at all costs. The Scriptures make that very clear to us -
Matthew 5:29-30 says - "And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
Romans 16:17 says - "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them."
1 Corinthians 5:11 says - "But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one, no, not to eat."
Colossians 3:5 says - "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry."
2 Thessalonians 3:14 says - "And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed."
1 Timothy 4:7 says - "But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness."
1 Timothy 6:20 says - "O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called."
2 Timothy 2:16 says - "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness."
2 John 9 and 10 says - "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed."
There is one Scripture, in particular, that we would like to look into today in our study. This verse is a call to duty straight from the Holy Spirit. He is sending out a "wake-up" call to all believers through this verse. It must be heeded for the consequences can be deadly if it is not!
It is a call to Guard the Vineyard and it is found in Song of Solomon 2:15 which says - "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."
First of all, we would like to say that this warning is being sent out to all who are totally sold-out to Jesus. It is being sent out to everyone who is on-fire for God and is passionate about their faith in the Blessed Redeemer. It is not for the wimps or the cold-hearted who are "playing church." This warning is for those who are a real threat to Hell!
If that is you, then it would behoove you to pay strict attention to what the Lord is saying here.
It is the Bridegroom - none other than the Lord Jesus - Who is talking. He is communing with His bride about their relationship. He is conversing about their communion together or their shared intimacy. This is brought out in the pervious verse which says - "O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let Me see thy countenance, let Me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." Jesus is speaking to those who are "dwelling in the secret place of the Most High" "under the shadow of the Almighty"(Psalm 91:1). They are the ones who are hidden in Him - the Rock. He loves that place where He hears their voice and sees their countenance. It is the beautiful place of devotion. Notice how He lovingly says - "...let Me see see thy countenance, let Me hear thy voice..."
Did you catch the sweetness of His words here, O Saint of God? Can you sense how He yearns for sweet communion with His Bride?
However, in the next verse, His train of thought dramatically switches to another subject. You can almost detect the change in His tone of voice when He says - "Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes."
What would cause the Bridegroom to change His subject so abruptly? Why would He go from talking about the sweet communion He was having with His Bride to the subject of "foxes" - "little foxes" - "that spoil the vines"?
There would be only one thing that would cause Him to do this. That something would be any hindrance to the ongoing sweet fellowship He is having with His Bride. That something is none other than Sin.
The soul or heart of the believer is likened unto a "vineyard." The "Bridegroom" uses the analogy of the "foxes" to point out the destruction of sin. "Foxes" like sin are sneaky and crafty. They eat away at the "fruit" in the vineyard. They are so eager to get into the vineyard so that they can wreak havoc and destruction. They burrow wholes in the ground so that they can remain undetected.
The "Bridegroom" admonished the Bride to "take...the foxes." In other words, take hold of...catch...and trap the foxes. Hunt them down and seize them. Don't let them live. Kill them.
In His warning to His Bride, He doesn't fail to mention the "little foxes." There might be a reluctance at the sight of the "little" ones because they seem so cute and harmless. No! The Bridegroom says - "Take...the little foxes..." They, too, will "spoil the vine" or the fruit in the vineyard. Hence, they are not to be spared or pitied in the slightest. Deal with them harshly. Kill them as well!
Do you get the drift of what Jesus is saying to His Beloved Friends today? He is warning all of sin and its destructive ways. If it is not dealt with, it will destroy the sweet fellowship between them. It will destroy every bit of fruit that was gained through times of communion with Him.
Today, it is as though He is standing by His Bride and pointing out Sin to her and warning her to get rid of it. He is warning -
Get rid of the "fox" of Unbelief that causes you to no longer go to the Word, read it, or live by it...causes you to blunt it whereby it no longer has an impact on your soul...causes you not to tremble at it or be callous to its piercings when you read of sin...causes you to be unmoved when you read of Christ...causes you to read the Scriptures unbelievingly...causes you to look away from Christ to yourself or others...causes you to live by sight and feelings...and causes you to become disconnected to Him.
Get rid of the "fox" of Unrepentance which hinders you from turning to the Lord and causes you to not grieve over sin.
Get rid of the "fox" of Worldliness which causes you to find the things of the world more important or appealing than the things of God...causes you to speak more of the world than of Christ...robs your soul of love for God...calls you to love the world and set your affections on it...and blurs your vision so that you cannot see Jesus in all of His beauty and splendor.
Get rid of the "fox" of the Flesh which coerces you to indulge in sin - be taken up in sinful thoughts and fantasies...have a filthy mind...and be angry and full of lust and hatred.
Get rid of the "fox" of Self-Centeredness which causes your focus to be on you and not on Christ or others. It stirs up in you the desire to be first..superior...and above others for your own aggrandizement and praise.
- Get rid of the "little foxes" - the "little lie"..."little theft"...:"little outburst of anger"..."little act of disobedience"..."little bad word"..."little act of selfishness"..."little omission of prayer"...and "little yielding to jealousy or envy" - which seem so harmless yet wreak much damage.
Never forget - the "foxes. the little foxes" ruin your communion with Christ.
That should be enough reason for you to become a zealous fox hunter or trapper. It should make you "violent" in seizing these "animals" and killing them before they get a chance to steal your Blessed Fellowship with Jesus and all of its wonderful benefits or "fruit."
Is His call precious to you? Will it be heeded by you?
Or will you be the next Vine that promised well but ended up spoiled?
May God Bless His Word.
© COPYRIGHT Connie Giordano - All Rights Reserved