The Necessity of Forgiveness Day 5 – A Covering in the Garden
“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.” (Genesis 3:7, ESV)
“And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” (Genesis 3:21, ESV)
I blew it! I knew better, but decided to do it anyway, and now this!
There are times in every one of our lives when we inwardly groan to ourselves as we reap the consequences of our sinful choices.
Whether it’s the financial fallout of living outside of our means or the decision to move forward with a relationship outside of marriage that quickly gets out of control, consequences for poor choices always come in some form or another. And they stink! They hurt us and they usually hurt other people, too. Our choices don’t generally just affect us; they result in pain, discomfort or disappointment in those close to us.
This has never been more true than it was in the Garden of Eden long ago. Though given everything they could ever need in a perfect setting, Eve longed for the one thing God forbade them: the fruit from the tree in the midst of the Garden. She convinced Adam that taking it would not only benefit them but satisfy their longing to be more like God. How far from the truth that line of thinking was!
Most of us are very familiar with the story of the Fall in the Garden where God placed them. If you’re not, read the first few chapters of Genesis in the Bible for a more detailed account. Adam and Eve both sinned by disregarding God’s instruction. The very moment they bit into that fruit, their eyes were opened to their nakedness, and the intimate connection with God was immediately broken. Their sin had painful consequences that have carried down to the whole human race: pain in childbirth, toiling and sweat in harvesting, banishment from the Garden, and, worst of all, a barrier between God and man.
Adam and Eve tried desperately to cover up their nakedness as they were exposed to an all-knowing, all-seeing God. But fig leaves would not do what they hoped; they were as naked with them on as they were without them. God immediately knew their sin, but as hurt and disappointed as He surely was, He followed up with not only compassion but a better covering—although one that required the shedding of blood.
The animal skins provided for their covering came as a result of the death of innocent animals. While these coverings were certainly more substantial than simple fig leaves, even they could only do so much. Yet God, in His tender care, provided for them, even as He forgave them. Things could never go back to how they were before—sin causes ruin—but they could once again enjoy intimacy with God, although no longer in the Garden.
God would have been just to deny them forgiveness, yet He displayed His deep love for them by providing a covering for their nakedness. These skins were a picture of what would come later, through Jesus, His Son, when He provided a permanent covering for sin through His own shed blood on the cross of Calvary.
Each of us is offered forgiveness for our own sin through that shed blood of Christ. Sadly, so many people will leave this life without accepting His covering and will face eternity without Him. The consequence for sin that is not covered by Christ’s blood is permanent separation from God in a place of torment, a place called hell. May none of us leave this life without the covering He’s provided, but instead, may we stand before God justified by the blood of Christ, completely and fully forgiven!