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Who Told You That You Were Naked? June 4, 2010

Posted by thesociallyawkwardchristian in Adam and Eve, Bible, Christianity, shame, sin.
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Shame. It’s a nasty word. It’s an even nastier feeling. We’ve all felt it before for one reason or another, and despite whether it was for something small or something huge, feeling ashamed has the same sickening feeling. George Bernard Shaw said, “We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.”

The awful thing about shame is: we were never meant to experience it.  In Genesis 3, after Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit, the Bible says that, “the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were opened, and they knew that they were naked”(Genesis 3:7a). For the first time in history, humans felt shame. The disgusting feeling of humiliation, embarassment, and knowledge that we did something that we knew we were not supposed to do. Now, as Shaw says, we are ashamed of “everything that is real about us.” Adam and Eve’s reality was that they were naked. Even though this fact was no less true before they sinned, it was made all to clear by their shame.

A few verses later when God was coming to enjoy his daily walk in the cool of the day with Adam and Eve, they heard them coming and hid themselves from their own Creator. The Being that loved them more than they could possibly imagine was now an object of fear to them, because they were ashamed of their own nakedness. God found the first couple and inquired as to why they were hiding to which Adam replied, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10). God’s reply is one that still amazes me. “He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked?” (Genesis 3:11a)

God knew that Adam and Eve were naked ever since He created them. It was no surprise to Him. What surprised God was that Adam and Eve were now aware of it. They were supposed to have no knowledge of their nudity or of their shame. This kind of knowledge could only come through the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Their sin brought consequences, shame being only one of them. But, God did something only an all-loving God could. He made them new garments. Instead of the measly leaves that Adam and Eve decided to clothe themselves with (leaves representing religion, good works, legalism; anything they could think of to cover their sin and shame), God killed an animal and “made garments of skins and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21).

Only God can cover our nakedness, our sin, and our shame. This wasn’t the last time killed to cover us. Several thousand years later, God would kill His only Son, the Lamb of God, Jesus to cover our sin and shame once and for all. So the next time you feel ashamed, just ask yourself, “Who Told You That You Were Naked?”

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