Catching the Little Foxes

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely (Song 2:14)

It was Moses who asked the Lord, “Now show me your glory.” He was placed in the clefts of the rock, so that he could bear to see the goodness of the Lord as He passed by (Ex. 33). The fearsome goodness of God was so intense, that Moses had to be covered, and then he could only look at the Lord’s back, because to see His face would have been more than any man could bear.

As we grow in our hearts’ desire, this becomes a consistent cry, “show me your glory.” We want to see His face. We want to hear His voice. We want our senses to be filled with Him as He draws near. However, in this verse, we see that these longings are reciprocated by the Lord. It is the Lover here speaking, saying to the bride “show Me your face, let Me hear your voice. …”

As much as we long to draw near to the Lord, it is the beauty of the bride that draws Him to us. He is saying, “Come to Me.” Pull aside. Allow Me to enjoy you. He is thrilled to see our face and to hear our voice.

It is our sweetness, our loveliness, which allures and attracts the Lord to us. Considering our fallen state, it is difficult to wrap our minds around this. The favor He has shown toward us seems too overwhelming to be real. Can He really be so pleased with us in this way?

Moses asked, “If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you.” We want to experience the consistent, abiding presence of God. Continually. Not just a momentary visit. We want to experience Emmanuel, God with us, and move into an everyday awareness of His love and favor toward us.

It is for this reason, that He next beckons us:

Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom (verse 15)

The little sins. The small things. The compromises that slip in and spoil our vineyard – which spoil the place of intimacy where we bear fruit – these are the things we must root out. We cannot let the wine be ruined. We cannot be negligent with this vineyard. It must be kept sealed away, with no cracks in the wall for the little foxes to enter.

Sometimes catching these foxes means rooting away outward habit patterns. Sometimes it means dealing with mundane distractions – taking the time to tend the vineyard, not being overly preoccupied with the cares of the world. And sometimes, it is as simple as rooting out the insecurities and issues of the heart that block intimacy. We sometimes neglect this garden because we shy away from the intensity of His love for us. While intellectually, we can comprehend that God loves us unconditionally, we feel awkward to gaze upon it for too long. We turn to busyness, details and entertainment.

Our calling is higher than that of Moses. Through Christ’s blood, we can now gaze upon His goodness with unveiled faces. If we can grow bold enough to approach the throne of grace and taste the goodness of this terribly intense love, then the insecurities and fears in every other area of our life fall away like shadows. If we become bold enough to be vulnerable to the Bridegroom’s advances, we have courage to tackle anything.

We must grow confident in the Lover’s desire for us. We must understand how breathtakingly beautiful we are to Him. He wants us completely, and our beauty is reserved for Him and Him alone. This love is exclusive, and reserved for no other idol.

My Lover is mine and I am His; He browses among the lilies. Until the day breaks and the shadows flee, turn, my Lover, and be like a gazelle or like a young stag on the rugged hills (verses 16-17)

As He browses among the lilies, He is feasting on us. He grazes like a wild gazelle or a stag. His wild, unpredictability enters our field and he takes from us our most prized possession – our hearts. In the night, when we are alone and our vineyard is sealed away from any other cares or distractions, we invite Him to draw near and have His way with us.

John Crowder, 6/16/2005