In Song of Solomon, we read an interesting verse that describes the relationship that we have with our Savior, as His holy bride, and the charge He has given His church concerning the care-taking of His kingdom:
Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
–Song of Songs 2:2
Why are we to deal with these little foxes: why are they so dangerous?
Little foxes, as small deceptions or singular temptations, are sometimes taken lightly or go unnoticed, but often lead to great ruin. For example, David lusted after Bathsheba, conceived a child with her, and later conspired to have her husband, Uriah, killed on the field of battle (2 Samuel 11).
Of course, by faith, we may resist a single temptation, and yet, be overcome by the subtle influences of worldly passions that bear upon us at all times: for these, as little foxes, threaten to spoil the vine of our love for the Savior, leading us away from Christ in our hearts.
Notice, though they may be easily defeated individually, taken together, they are made strong by their great number.
It is this constant deluge of small temptations and troubles that wears upon the soul–and for this cause, we are counseled to not grow weary in well-doing (Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13).
Of course, we know that afflictions and persecutions will increase exponentially under the reign of the anti-christ:
And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Consequently, we see that, whether in the tribulations common to this world at all times or those associated with the season of great tribulation, faith is expressed as patient endurance in the face of afflictions and persecutions that arise because of our belief in Christ and His word (Matthew 13:21).
Therefore, we must be wise concerning the little foxes:
We must recognize the great power of pet sins to overthrow the faith of some.
We must acknowledge the potential weariness that can result from continually enduring affiliations and persecutions.
We must look to Christ as our example: “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God,” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
We must recognize our great need for encouragement from our brothers and sisters in Christ, as the means through which God prefers to strengthen us:
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching,” (Hebrews 10:25).
“From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love,” (Ephesians 4:16).
Other verses to consider: Matthew 24:13; Luke 21:19; Romans 2:6-7; 1 Peter 4:19.