Have you ever done something wrong and tried to hide it? Cover it up? Or tried to hide yourself so you wouldn’t get in trouble? The awareness of shame—a fear of exposure—has been around since the very first sin. “The man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’
“He answered, ‘I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid’” (Gen 3:8-10, italics added).
Adam and Eve believed the serpent’s lie. God was keeping something from them! Sin entered the world when they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree. They suddenly felt exposed and naked and they feared the One they had lived in intimate harmony with all their lives.
So when God asked where they were (as if He didn’t know), Adam didn’t say, “We sinned! We did the one thing you told us not to do and we are so sorry! Can you ever forgive us?” No, he said, “I hid because I’m naked.”
That’s what sin does. We believe obeying God deprives us of what feels good, lines our pockets, gives us knowledge, power, or sex appeal. Except God made us. He knows what we need and will truly satisfy us. When we give in to temptation, our conscience reacts with the sorrow of separation from God.
Before we can call on Him and admit our guilt, Satan heaps shame on us, to keep us from confession and relationship with God. He dances around, pointing a finger, chanting, “Guilty! Guilty! You’re naked. You should be so ashamed! Better hide from God.”
Thankfully, God doesn’t leave us in our shame. He pulled the conversation with Adam and Eve back to the issue at hand. “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Gen. 3:11). God points out the problem is not nakedness—they’ve always been naked and it never bothered them before (Gen 2:25). The problem is sin and it has to be dealt with. Hiding won’t get the job done.
Like us, Adam and Eve got defensive and moved to blaming—first each other, then the serpent. God’s love poured out even then. There were consequences for their actions, and they got kicked out of the garden (which was actually an act of mercy, since they would have lived forever in their sinful state if they had continued to eat from the tree of life).
But God promised the solution for their sin in the first prophetic mention of the Messiah. He said to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Gen 3:15). Jesus Christ is the Son of man who would pay the penalty for all sin. Then God showed even more grace as He clothed their nakedness with animal skins—the first death to enter His perfect creation.
This story continues today. We are tempted; we believe the lies and succumb. Immediately we feel naked and ashamed. But God says, “Who told you you’re naked? I have a solution for your sin. Come out from where you’re hiding and I will clothe you with righteousness—the body and blood of my own Son, the Lamb of God. Then we can walk together you and me.
Satan, the serpent, was defeated when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead. Revelation 12:10 says, “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.” That’s good news!
If we come into the open before God and admit we have sinned, we can escape the accusations of the enemy. We need never fear nakedness before God if we’re covered by the Son.