October 2 | Bible in a Year: Isaiah 14-16; Ephesians 5:1-16
Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards.
Song of Songs 2:15
READ EPHESIANS 5:1–13
The first time a bat invaded our home we dismissed it as a fluke. But after a second nighttime visit, I read up on the little critters and discovered they don’t need much of an opening to pay humans a visit. In fact, if they find a gap as small as the side of a coin they’ll let themselves in.
So I loaded up my caulk gun and went on a mission. I went around the house and closed up every tiny opening I could find.
In Songs of Songs 2:15, Solomon mentions another troublesome mammal. He writes of the danger of “little foxes,” which can “ruin the vineyards.” Symbolically, he’s speaking of threats that can enter a relationship and ruin it. Now I don’t mean to offend bat-lovers or fox-lovers, but keeping bats out of the house and foxes out of the vineyard is a bit like dealing with sin in our lives (Ephesians 5:3). By the grace of God, the Holy Spirit works within us so that we don’t have to “live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:4). By the Spirit’s power we can resist the temptation to sin.
Praise God that, in Christ, we’re now “light in the Lord” and can live in a way that “pleases” Him (Ephesians 5:8-10). The Spirit helps us catch those little foxes.
By Dave Branon
REFLECT & PRAY
God, use Your power to give me the strength to resist sinning and damaging my relationship with You and others.
When you’re tempted to sin, how can you lean into the Holy Spirit’s power to resist it? What little foxes can the Spirit help you deal with today?
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Today’s passage flows seamlessly out of chapter 4, in which Paul tells us how to live our lives in Christ. First he notes the futile thinking of those who live apart from God. “They are darkened in their understanding” (Ephesians 4:18) and so “indulge in every kind of impurity” (v. 19). But we’re to “put on the new self, created to be like God” (v. 24). This means a lifestyle of honesty and integrity, usefulness and generosity (vv. 25-28). Above all, it’s marked by kindness, compassion, and forgiveness (v. 32). Such Christlike behavior starkly contrasts with the darkness we once lived in. “As children of light” (5:8) we reflect the One who is the Light (see 1 John 1:5-7). Tim Gustafson