Catch the Little Foxes Because...

Originally published in July 1995.

How long has it been since I’ve written about integrity?I realize it’s been less than a year but I have to bring it up again.After all as Solomon wrote, and he would know, “Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”Song of Songs 2:15.Hopefully our youth ministries are in some sort of bloom stage and hopefully our lives are blooming.We’ve got to catch those little things.

Those little things slowly take away our edge in ministry.I know I need to constantly keep a spotlight on my life.It gets tiring and frustrating and it is tedious.It’s not always comfortable and sometimes in my selfishness I become stubborn.But Proverbs 20:7 reminds me, “The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”One thing that keeps me on that thin line of integrity is knowing that how I live my life will affect other teens.That is one of the responsibilities we took on when we chose to work with youth.

Let’s take a look at the life of Aaron.He was Moses’ brother, a much better speaker and anointed as priest.A man in leadership.A man with responsibility.But those little foxes…

When Moses was away receiving the Ten Commandments the people came to Aaron believing that Moses was dad.I know you know the story.In Exodus 32 they asked Aaron to make them new gods.And Aaron, the brother of Moses, the speaker and priest, answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.”Exodus 32:2.And then, “He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf.Exodus 32:4.He took definite action in the building of the golden calf.

Yet when Moses called Aaron in it, Aaron said, “Do not be angry, my lord.You know how prone these people are to evil.They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us.As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold and I threw it into the fire and out came this calf?’”Exodus 32:22.And just poof, out came this calf?!Sure, Aaron.

As the plague hit the people who had worshipped the calf, you would surely think Aaron would have also been one of the casualties.But nothing happened to Aaron.He was not killed.He was not removed from his position.He continued to be at Moses’ side.

We would like people like Aaron to be zapped to oblivion, wouldn’t we?They are in leadership, they have more responsibility, so they should receive retribution instantly.This way good people could not be led astray by such leaders.These leaders wouldn’t be around to do damage to God’s kingdom.And those of us in leadership would definitely be living on that line of integrity so we don’t get zapped.

Yet for the unexplainable reasons of God’s amazing grace, this is not what happens.

And Aaron received such grace.Aaron continued in his position through Exodus 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38.In Exodus 39, sacred priestly garments were made for Aaron.In Exodus 40 Aaron and his sons were anointed again as priests in preparation for the new tabernacle.When the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle, Aaron was amongst it.He who we think was not worthy of being amongst the glory of the Lord was.I am sure glad I am not your judge and you are not mine.

Aaron was still in his position through Leviticus 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.In Leviticus 8, Aaron and his sons are ordained.Leviticus 9 tells about their beginnings in ministry.Finally though, in Leviticus 10 got his due.And what a tragic way.

His sons, Nadab and Abihu has offered unauthorized fire before the Lord.Where did they learn they could get away with such stuff?Their father, Aaron.But this time the Lord decided to deal with it quickly.That same unauthorized fire consumed his sons and killed them.And Aaron was left to live with the consequences.Aaron’s life of a lack of integrity cost him his sons.

As I am standing on the Rock in the role of Rizpah, I have to keep my integrity.No can have these teens including me losing them by my excusing those little foxes in my life.This pertains to your youth ministry and your family.It’s often harder to maintain true integrity at home.I am just finding this out.I have taken in a 14-year old girl into my home.My life is constantly on that line which frustrates me more than I thought.Her watching eyes are constantly on me questioning everything that I do so I question myself more and more.She is looking at the little decisions I make to help her make her little decisions.

I myself have had my mentors fall.Those little foxes got in.Their ministries were shut down but they have pulled their lives and their families back together.However, I was greatly affected.I still am but what Satan meant for evil I have turned to good.I will not do the same to the teens I mentor.

Not that I am driven by guilt to live a life of integrity.I am driven by the possible fruit of my life.“The righteous man leads a blameless life; blessed are his children after him.”Proverbs 20:7.