My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away,
for behold, the winter is past;
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.
The fig tree ripens its figs,
and the vines are in blossom;
they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my beautiful one,
and come away.
O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
in the crannies of the cliff,
let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
for your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.
Catch the foxes for us,
the little foxes
that spoil the vineyards,
for our vineyards are in blossom.” Song of Solomon 2:10-15 ESV
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. Genesis 3:1-7 ESV
When doctors and nurses and other health professionals take care of very sick patients or do some kind of surgery, they sometimes have to have what is called a sterile field. This means that anything that is used on the patient’s body must be absolutely free of any kind of germs that could cause a serious infection. There are many ways a sterile field can become contaminated. For example, if a sterile item touches something that isn’t sterile, it becomes contaminated. Anything that touches anyone’s skin becomes contaminated. If a nurse or a doctor turns his or her back or walks away from a sterile field, it becomes contaminated. There are many other rules like that. Doctors and nurses have to be very careful, because even one germ can give a patient an infection that could make them very sick.
Solomon had many, many wives, but he also wrote a beautiful love song called the Song of Solomon. This song is about the love between one man and one woman. One part of the song talks about the winter being over and the spring coming. Everything is beautiful. Flowers are blooming, birds are singing, fig trees are starting to produce figs, and the grapevines in the vineyards are in blossom. The man calls to the woman to come out and enjoy the beauty of the spring. But there is one problem. There are little foxes getting into the vineyards, and if no one catches them and gets rid of them, they will spoil the vines and ruin the grape harvest. Even in a time and a place where everything seems wonderful, there is one small thing that can spoil it all.
Love is like that. A husband and a wife might love each other very much and be very happy. But there are small things that spoil love–lies, unkind words, selfishness, and so on. These things might seem small and unimportant, but they can spoil love and good feelings between husband and wife, brothers and sisters, and friends. Solomon’s love poem warns us to catch the little foxes before they do any damage!
Long ago there was another beautiful garden planted by God himself, where everything was happy and lovely. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit God had told them they must not eat. That one little sin spoiled everything and made the whole world sick and broken. But God didn’t leave things like that. He came into this broken world in Jesus and took all our hurt and sin on himself. Jesus took our sin to the cross with him, and brought us back to God. Someday we will live in a beautiful new world where nothing will ever spoil things again!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending Jesus to take away our sins and give us the hope of a new world. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.