Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.
A famous ruby was once offered for sale in England, and the crown jeweller reported that it was the finest he had ever seen, with a single slight defect in one of the cuttings of the face. This almost invisible flaw reduced its value by thousands of pounds, and the ruby was not purchased for the regalia of the kingdom. It is only man's littleness which discovers no importance in trifles. Trifles make perfection, and perfection is no trifle. The most deplorable failures in Christian consistency and uprightness may, generally, be traced back to a very small departure from duty. Give the "little foxes" an opportunity to break through the enclosure which surrounds the vineyard, and the prospect of grapes will be small. What, then, are some of these little sins, which mar our happiness or hinder our usefulness?
I. At the head of the list may be placed A SOUR AND CRABBED TEMPER.
II. Another little sin to be watched against is THE GIVING WAY TO EASE AND SELF-INDULGENCE. There is too much of what may be called "summer religion"; a readiness to enjoy the agreeable parts of it, without its restraints and sacrifices.
III. DISHONESTY IN OUR ORDINARY DEALINGS may be named as another example of little sins.
IV. Another little sin, as the world looks at it, is JEALOUSY.
(J. N. Norton, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.