FOXES IN THE VINEYARD - Carter Conlon
Most agree that the Song of Solomon is a representation of Christ and His Bride. In this book we find an important verse, a request to the Bridegroom coming from those who know Him: “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are ruining the vineyards, while our vineyards are in blossom” (Song of Solomon 2:15, NASB).
When you consider the size of a vineyard, a fox seems fairly insignificant. Nevertheless, a little fox has the potential to eat up the grapes and diminish the beauty of a blossoming vineyard. In the same way, you and I may find ourselves in a fruitful season — a time when things we have prayed and believed for are coming to pass. Yet we must take heed, for often there are little things in our lives that, if left unattended, can greatly diminish our testimony. We see an example of this in the book of Matthew.
“When [Jesus and His disciples] had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, ‘Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?’ He said, ‘Yes’” (Matthew 17:24-25, NKJV). Up to this point, almost everything in Peter’s walk with Jesus had gone well. It was a fruitful season! However, Jesus knew that small things in Peter’s life needed to be dealt with, lest his future fruitfulness be diminished.
When Peter was approached by the collectors of the temple tax, he lied! Neither he nor Jesus had actually paid the temple tax. Later Jesus explains to Peter that they are not required to pay that tax (see Matthew 17:25-26). “Only strangers pay taxes. We are sons of the One who owns the temple! Therefore, there is no penalty for us.”
This is a type of you and me realizing that our sins are covered. Because we came to Christ, we have been forgiven. All our failings and shortcomings were fully covered by the sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary.
Carter Conlon joined the pastoral staff of Times Square Church in 1994 at the invitation of the founding pastor, David Wilkerson, and was appointed Senior Pastor in 2001.