The Expository Files

Grape Vines
A confession from my youth

Throughout the opening chapters of Proverbs, wisdom (knowing and using God's truth) is personified in the feminine voice and she cries out for our attention (see Prov. 1:20 and 8:1-6). The foolish woman described in Proverbs chapter nine represents the opposite, and her appeal includes the empty promise that "Stolen water is sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant," (see Prov. 9:17).

I offer here a personal illustration/confession from my youth. This is not something I take any pride in, but I have no reason to believe I am the exception to the rule - insofar as boys are concerned. Anyway, the confession illustrates the point.

When I was about 11 or 12, I would venture into "the woods" with other boys. We would find a comfortable, secluded place and smoke grape vines. It was painful. Your lips would burn with pain, your mouth and throat would swell, you would cough and spitů and talk about how great it was to smoke!

The attraction was not taste, sophistication or any appealing intoxication. The attraction was, we were doing what was forbidden. We were hiding, in secret doing what we were told not to do, and that was the adventure. You'll be happy to know I grew out of that habit quickly.

One sign of immaturity is, to find something attractive simply because it is forbidden. In adulthood, it is also a sign of a lack of character. When our character isn't developing in the right direction (toward God, based on His Word, honoring His Son), we are liable to find some things attractive simply because they are forbidden.

By Warren E. Berkley
The Front Page
From Expository Files 8.3; March 2001