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travelling light (daily devotions for your elective)

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Day 3: The Little Foxes

Song of Solomon 2: 1 - 17
The Little Foxes

In this beautiful love song, we read in allegorical terms of the delights and security of a love relationship with Jesus. Of a Lover who tells us that winter is past and a ‘season of singing has come’ (v12); who calls us to come away with Him (v10); of a beloved who can confidently sing, ‘I am my Beloved’s and He is mine. And His banner over me is love’ (v4 - yes, the chorus is based on this chapter).

But in the midst of it all is a warning about little foxes. Little foxes that can do a great deal of harm; that can ‘ruin the vineyards’ if they are not dealt with; that will grow into bigger foxes that could conceivably do even greater harm. I don’t intend us to get into a discussion about the ethics of fox hunting but the writer is telling us something important here!

The writer warns us that little foxes need to be dealt with quickly - while the vines are still in bloom, radically - all of them need to be caught and that not dealing with them could ruin the fruit we hope to produce.

Ask yourself, in the context of our thinking about hope, what these little foxes might represent to you personally.

Perhaps it is that we are allowing ourselves to harbour thoughts that question or deny the faithfulness of God? There will certainly be many occasions as you come up against the seemingly insurmountable problems facing the poor of this world when you will cry out ‘God, why?’ and feel ‘It’s so unfair’, ‘How can a loving God allow this to happen?’ Questions to which we often have to admit there are no easy answers. But questions to which you might feel there is an answer ‘if only…’ But you also know the answer might be costly for you and too costly for a self-seeking and greedy world to face.

If we allow these thoughts to deceive us into thinking that God doesn’t care and there is no hope, then we are allowing these little foxes to do their work. Thoughts that are not dealt with can lead to careless words spoken out against God or others, and they may lead to actions (or inaction) that we will later regret. Paul tells us that he takes ‘captive every thought to … Christ’ (II Corinthians 10: 5). Surely an example we should follow.

Whatever it means for you - seek out those little foxes. Be ruthless with them. Destroy them before they destroy you, your relationship with your heavenly Father and the fruit that the Holy Spirit is growing in your life.

Prayer and Action
Find time today to meditate upon this love song and then to sit quietly with God and ask Him to search your heart. Be honest with yourself. Are there things you need to deal with if your faith and hope are to stay strong and grow? Remember there is nothing you have done or can do that will cause Him to love you any less, just as there is nothing you can do that will cause Him to love you any more. Confess any sins you need to deal with and know that ‘He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness’ (I John 1: 9).

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