The Watcher and Keeper of the Vineyard
The Song of Songs was given such name because it describes the love story between Solomon and the Shulammite, and that it comprises the metaphorical meaning on the intimate relationship between Christ and church. In this metaphorical drama of love, there is a fox-hunting request: “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.” (Song 2:15) There are some foxes that may have sneaked into the Shulammite’s vineyard through broken fences or through boring holes in the ground for the purpose of eating the grapes. Once the plants blossom with flowers, and if the foxes that have stolen into the vineyard cannot find any fruits, they will cause destruction. If the flowers are destroyed, how could the grapes come? Therefore, the keeper of the vineyard has to keep constant watch to ensure the fences or the grounds have no openings to allow these foxes or other animals to enter and destroy. The overseeing of the vineyard and the mending of any openings act as preventive measures and are much better than having to later catch the cunning and nimble foxes that steal into the vineyard.
The devil is like these cunning and nimble foxes that infiltrates the church, this vineyard of God, and to bring upon many types of destruction. The new believers are the blossoming flowers in a grape plant, which is young and fragile, and requires delicate nurturing. The Lord allows the pastors, overseers, deacons, Sunday school teachers, fellowship leaders and staff to manage and oversee; those who serve do it out of the Lord’s love and calling, and become faithful and diligent watchers that frequently prays for the church, cares for the spiritual growth of Christ’s body, exercises restraints in their daily lives, preserves the truth, and prevents the church from having any weaknesses or openings such that Satan does not have a chance to cause great destruction. If those who serve the Lord loses love, vision or mission, faithfulness, obedience to the Lord’s words, and only cares about oneself, then the destroyer may not only be like the foxes, but will be the wild boars from the forests. The vineyard in this church will then come to ruins, like the Israelites in the past. “Boars from the forest ravage it and the creatures of the field feed on it” (Psalms 80:13)
The devil infiltrates the church by going through the heart of individual believers. He would provoke our own desires through the environment that we are in contact with. Once our desires are led into temptations, sin is yet to be borne. When someone accepts and submits to it, sin is then conceived, like pride, envy, greed, deceit, lust, etc. If someone does not immediately deal with it and shun it, but retains and develops it, then this sinful desire propagates and gives life to sinful acts, such as boasting, judging others, insulting others, causing strife or division, and having unclean or lustful acts; these begin from within one’s heart. Solomon reminds us: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of live.” (Proverbs 4:23)
Our hearts are like a vineyard in which we need to keep watch and manage, in order to prevent Satan from entering. He is like a cunning fox, deceitful snake, proud peacock, filthy boar, or vicious dogs, who will destroy the vineyard from blossoming in the Holy Spirit. If those who serve the Lord are diligent in keeping their own heart, then they will be able to watch over the House of God. If we are faithful to hold fast and manage this, then the one greater than Solomon, Jesus Christ, will richly reward us.