Little Foxes  



As a very young boy growing up in a middle Tennessee town the preacher in my home congregation preached a series of lessons on subject of “The Little Foxes That Spoil the Vineyards.”

These lessons made a very great impression on me. This subject is taken from the text of Song of Solomon 2:15. Paraphrasing this passage it might read as follows; “Rid us of the sins, the little sins that destroy our prospects of fruit bearing in the service of our God, the little things that can destroy the Lord’s church.”

Generally speaking we consider some sins as major sins while others sins we might classify as being very minor. Even the Bible infers that some sins where worse than others. An example of this is where Jesus speaks of Judas’ betrayal saying, “Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

There is no doubt that some sins seem to have greater consequences than others. You might tell a lie to someone and that would not be as endangering as if you murdered that person. If you robbed a bank you would end up in prison whereas being jealous of someone who has more money than you would not give you a prison sentence.

However sin is sin regardless of its proportions or nature. A particular sin may not get you arrested but just because society may condone or even approve a certain conduct doe’s not mean God sanctions or removes the consequences of sin.


Sin, any sin, all sin, brings death to the soul. Paul says, “For the wages of sin is death.”

A person might plead “I just tell little white lies now and then.”

A white lie is as much a sin as any so called “black lie”. A number of so called “little sins” make one a greater sinner than one so called “great sin.” Sometimes a little sin can be more detrimental and have a more fatal effect than a so called “big sin”.

James says “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10)

Sin separates us from God according to Isaiah 59:1. Paul asserts in Ephesians 4:18 that sin darkens the mind and alienates us from God. Sin makes people carnal (1 Corinthians 3:3); causes one to wrong his own soul (Proverbs 8:36); poisons our speech (Romans 3:13, 14); defiles the mind and conscience (Titus 1:15); and places the sinner in the devil’s grip of power (Ephesians 2:2).

The bottom line is that the unforgiven sinner is lost (Luke 15:32; John 8:21, 24). Paul makes it very clear that “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

This is spiritual death or separation from God which can be eternal if not repented of. So we should be concerned about all sin not just certain sins. Ignored sins that may seem of no importance can condemn us just as much as the big sins.


Sin tends to fall into two categories. First there are sins of omission. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

Second, there are sins of commission. 1 John 3:4 says, “Whoever commits sin also commits lawlessness, and sin is lawlessness.”

Sin then might be defined as any omission or transgression of any law of God that pertains to mankind today.

Romans 3:19 says, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”

In the very next verse Paul says that the law gives us a knowledge of sin. The result is that it convicts us of our sin. It is also interesting to note that the more we know of God’s will the greater our accountability becomes. However, ignorance is no excuse ev4en though it may lessen the penalty to some degree.

Note what Jesus says in Luke 12:47-48.

“And that servant who knew his masters will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things worthy of stripes shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required, and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more.”


Based on having listened to preaching for 70 years and having preached for 50 years, if I were to attempt to rate what has been considered to be the big sins they would be as follows. Adultery, I supposed would rate as the number one sin. Especially if it is evident as in pregnancy.

In many cases this has been unforgivable with some Christians even though the person might have repented.

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Little Foxes