The sad irony is that while they sinned together the result was they were no longer “together”
“Will all great Neptune’s ocean wash this blood clean from my hand? No; this my hand will rather the multitudinous seas incarnadine, making the green one red” (Macbeth, Scene 2)
Those are the words of General MacBeth – terrorized by guilt for murdering his own king. His conscience was a fierce witness against his evil deed, forcing him to constantly look at his hands. And all he could see on them was blood, and he could see no way to wash it away: “Could the great ocean wash all this blood from my hands? No it can’t! Instead my guilt is so great that this blood would turn the whole ocean red”
Guilt-stricken. It may just be that Adam and Eve felt the same crushing guilt for their deed. In that moment standing at the forbidden tree a terror swept over them. A terror for themselves for sure, but they could not in that moment see all the terror they brought into the world. Romans 5:12 says, “Therefore just as sin entered the world through on eman, and death throgh sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned”
We have seen the strategy of Satan to lead Adam and Eve into sin. Today we will begin to look at the consequences.
We will travel today under several headings: 1) Alienation from Each Other, 2) Alienation from God, 3) Divine Interrogation
ALIENATION FROM EACH OTHER (7)
The first heading is Alienation From Each Other. Read v 7….
God said that if they ate from the tree they would die. We see the first thing to die in verse 7: their relationship. Their mutual trust, their security, their comfort with each other was stripped away from them. Those key things in their relationship, which they possessed because of their innocence, were like safe clothing for them. But now they’ve been derobed of those relational garments and stood there looking at each other’s nakedness….looking at their own nakedness. Something between them died in that moment. “There is a way that seems right to a man but in the end it leads to death” (Prv 14:12).
Satan said that their eyes would be opened and they would gain a kind of knowledge, a wisdom, that they didn’t have. Look at the words in verse 7, “The eyes of both of them were opened…they realized…” Oh if they could only go back – it wasn’t what they thought it would be. It wasn’t what Satan made it out to be. Sin never is. “There is a way that seems right…” Or like John when he ate the scroll in Revelation, it tasted “sweet” in his mouth, but, it made his stomach “bitter”. The venom of sin is in its tail, it comes in the end.
We see that they wanted to hide. From each other! This is alienation. The sad irony is that while they sinned together the result was they were no longer “together” – in a deeper sense. They stood there next to one another, but they were now miles apart. They used to be naked with each other and feel no shame (2:25) but now they were ashamed of themselves in front of the other. For the first time shame, fear, insecurity, extreme self-consciousness and guilt were felt in the human race. It used to be that every time they saw each other they ran to each other, oblivious they were naked. Now having just swallowed the fruit their eyes saw things in a whole new way, a much worse way, and the immediate reaction is to conceal themselves.
Our sin affects us and it affects those around us. Never buy the lie that our sin only affects us. A person declaring that is justifying their sin and really just showing how deep their selfishness is at that point. Our sin affects others.
You must see too how they conceal themselves: they make coverings. They conceal themselves physically from each other.
First: see the connection between the spiritual and the physical. The inner motions of their hearts and minds manifested physically by taking the forbidden fruit. Then the inner motions of fear, shame and insecurity manifested in their scramble to cover themselves up and hide their bodies from each other. Turn to Mark 7:20-23 and follow along with me…These are all outward physical sins but they get their start in the heart. The connection between the spiritual and the physical.
Second: prior to the Fall nakedness was right and appropriate. This is because there was no shame attached to the human race due to sin. However, now nakedness is the shame. Not covering up is shameful.
This is the basis of modesty. The human race is in a condition of shame and thus covering up is proper. Men and women are both to be modest. Some ways are similar but others are different. The point is that it is appropriate to cover yourself up. This could be making sure you have enough clothing on or making sure that you don’t wear blatantly offensive clothing. Modesty is also covering up in conversation and not drawing all the attention to yourself: not tooting your own horn all the time and not revealing EVERY LAST DETAIL of your life to EVERY SINGLE PERSON you encounter. There is legitimacy to criticism’s of being fake and everyone pretending with each other and concealing “too much”. But there is also the immodesty of vomiting everything all the time to everyone everywhere. Modesty in this sense is about not making yourself the center of everyone’s attention. Think about that in matters of clothing and think about that in matters of conversation.
Third: The concealment was deeper than physical. It was psychological, relational, spiritual. They weren’t stepping towards each other to embrace each other lovingly. No, they felt new things, ugly things, and it made them step back from each other. They wouldn’t feel secure with each other until they had sufficiently hidden themselves from each other. “Don’t look at me! I no longer want you to be able to see me.” The security of Genesis 2:25 was decimated: “They were both naked and they felt no shame.” Now that freedom was gone. Trust was gone. They were alienated. A lot of people know what its like to be “one flesh” but be in separate worlds.
Do you know that trust is the key to relational nakedness? And that love is impossible without trust. If you’re seeking a wife or a husband then makes sure you are someone who is trustworthy and make sure anyone you are considering is trustworthy. When I got married my idea of trusting someone meant you could rely on them not to cheat on you. That’s a big one for sure, but I’ve since learned in 14 years of marriage that trust is far more than only that. We used to do B1 nights here, which were marriage enrichment nights. One night we did trust and I suggested 6 ways you need to be building trust as a spouse. If you’re single weigh these carefully. If you’re married weigh these carefully:
- Build trust in physical intimacy. The most basic trust in a marriage is that the other person is physically devoted to you alone. They won’t cheat on you: physically, mentally or emotionally. Adultery comes in many forms: another actual person; pornography; habitual lust after others; fantasizing of outside relationships; sexting; inappropriate friendships. If you’re single you protect yours and the other person’s purity. That is how you build each other’s trust in this area.
- Be Responsible and Dependable. I have to trust the person to put the right things first in our life. Obsession, preoccupation with hobbies or other stuff. The other person is going to take care of what needs to be taken care of. They are not going to be lazy or negligent with important practical matters of life. The fact is marriage means doing life together and reality has to be dealt with together. That requires responsibility and character.
- Do The Right Thing Morally. Cheat, lie, steal, callous indifference, etc. can’t characterize one or both spouses. When both spouses are confident in the other’s probity it builds trust, respect and love.
- Be a Safe Place for the other person’s Insecurities. Your past, your appearance, your faults, your inabilities,…. A healthy marriage is one where you trust your spouse more over time with your insecurities. They become the safe place for the most vulnerable parts of who you are.
- I Trust My Spouse To Give Me A Safe Place To Be Honest. I can trust them that they will react in a way that isn’t destructive – defensive, blow up, antagonistic, etc. They listen, patiently, sincerely, try to understand, committed to working through issues.
- I Trust My Spouse Will Not Use Things Against Me. Using, manipulating, dominating, weaponizing the past or my insecurities, etc.
This also means that a person who has trust issues willingly trusts their spouse. They do not allow the failures of people in their past to justify not trusting their spouse – especially when they have earned trust in the marriage. They would be required to stop treating the spouse like someone they’re not. That is using your own past against your spouse. The act of trusting is an act of love.
Without trust you will never feel the liberty to love fully and be forced to hold it in. Without trust you will never feel loved. Trust evicts shame and ushers in love.
Fourth: Notice that Adam and Eve concealed themselves from each other by using the things in their environment around them. They sewed fig leaves and covered up with them.
The application here is so rich. What are your fig leaves? What in your life around you do you keep using to hide? Some people use work. Other people use recreation. Video games. Sports. Partying, drinking, using. How about helping others or serving in Church? Its easy to cover up by being busy serving God and the Church. Its easy to hide from others and yourself for that matter by focusing on everyone and everything else around.
Fifth: They provided their own coverings. Notice the wording at the end of verse 7 “…they…made coverings for themselves.”
They provided their own coverings for their own shame. But their clothing was insufficient. Later in verse 21 it says, “And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.”
Hear me very closely: what they did to cover themselves was not adequate in God’s eyes. God judged that He needed to make better, sufficient, adequate clothing for them. This is not about fashion. This is theological.
Hear me closely: Anyone who is trying to live a good life, be religious, be a better person and is trusting that to be right with God is merely putting on fig leaves. But just like there wasn’t enough ocean to wash the blood from MacBeth’s hands, there aren’t enough fig leaves to cover our sin. It is too great!
And if you can see how great your sin is today then I want you to know that God has sent a great Savior. It is not you covering up your sin that you should be wasting anymore time doing – instead you should be confessing it to God. Stop running FROM God today and instead make today the day you run to Him. Don’t go another day with your guilt but go forward starting today with His grace. Like God says in the next verse: “WHERE ARE YOU?” That’s the question for you today: WHERE ARE YOU? If you are not with Christ then make today that day that you begin with Him.