HOW GOD DEALS WITH HIS TATTERED AND SOILED CHILDREN by Caley J. Meza for Core Christianity
People use clothing to fit in, to attract others, and even to express their personal identities. Yet, at its most basic level, clothing is the means by which people attempt to cover up their most vulnerable parts. And I’m not just talking about anatomy. When standing before a critic, I want to cloak all of my nerves and anxieties with the appearance of charm and confidence. In the fear of being found unqualified or insufficient, I want to veil myself behind thick and decorated curtains that say otherwise.
In Genesis 3, we see this same compulsion. After yielding to the tempting serpent and taking of the forbidden fruit, Adam and Eve immediately realized a new found weakness. The inner security that comes with blamelessness had vanished from their persons, and only the diffidence of shame remained. They were exposed and vulnerable and in need of covering. So naturally, they made clothing.
Scripture says, “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” (Gen. 3:7). And yet, their newly made apparel still wasn’t enough to calm their fearful hearts. But at the sound of an approaching Creator, they hid themselves among the trees (Gen 3:8).
Unfortunately, this inclination to hide from God still exists, even for many Christians. While we believe in the message that Jesus has in fact removed our guilt and shame, our daily experience of sin remains an ever-present reality. Jesus has taken away our sin, but in our thoughts, words and deeds, we often still see the sinner we always were. And in the face of our own weakness, instead of turning to God again in repentance, we can often follow after our first parents by attempting to shield ourselves from him. Like Adam and Eve, in fear of being exposed, we will try to sew on our own impressive coverings, only to too quickly realize that they are filthy rags before a holy God.