Summary: A sermon about the futility of trying to cover our sins by human effort.
Fig Leaf Fashions
Scripture Reading (6-7)
I. The Cause for the Fig Leaf Fashions v. 1-7a
A. The serpent scheming
Let's start with some background. Adam and Eve are living in the Garden of Eden, Paradise. In Chapter 2:16,17 God has given them a simple instruction. Whenever I play a new board game, I always get a little frustrated because it seems there are 900 rules. In the Garden of Eden, however, it is very simple. There is only one rule. Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. As we come to Chapter 3, we are introduced to a talking snake. 3:1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?" This chapter does not tell us exactly who the snake is, but the rest of the Bible makes it clear. The snake is Satan. As Revelation 12:9 says, he is "the great dragon, the ancient serpent, called the devil, or Satan." Apparently some time before God had created the earth, He had made angels, beings who served Him in heaven. One of the most powerful of these angels was Lucifer who led the rebellion against God and was cast out of heaven. Many Bible scholars think Isaiah 14:12-25 describes this event. In Genesis 3, Lucifer, or the devil, indwells and possesses a snake with the purpose of enticing Adam and Eve to make the big mistake of joining him in his rebellion against God.
Satan promises the best, but pays with the worst;
he promises honor and pays with disgrace;
he promises pleasure and pays with pain;
he promises profit and pays with loss;
he promises life and pays with death.
B. The sinners seeing
Gary Richmond, a former zoo keeper, had this to say: Raccoons go through a glandular change at about 24 months. After that they often attack their owners. Since a 30-pound raccoon can be equal to a 100-pound dog in a scrap, I felt compelled to mention the change coming to a pet raccoon owned by a young friend of mine, Julie. She listened politely as I explained the coming danger. I'll never forget her answer. "It will be different for me. . ." And she smiled as she added, "Bandit wouldn't hurt me. He just wouldn't." Three months later Julie underwent plastic surgery for facial lacerations sustained when her adult raccoon attacked her for no apparent reason. Bandit was released into the wild. Sin, too, often comes dressed in an adorable guise, and as we play with it, how easy it is to say, "It will be different for me." The results are predictable.
In 1982, "ABC Evening News" reported on an unusual work of modern art--a chair affixed to a shotgun. It was to be viewed by sitting in the chair and looking directly into the gun barrel. The gun was loaded and set on a timer to fire at an undetermined moment within the next hundred years. The amazing thing was that people waited in lines to sit and stare into the shell's path! They all knew the gun could go off at point-blank range at any moment, but they were gambling that the fatal blast wouldn't happen during their minute in the chair. Yes, it was foolhardy, yet many people who wouldn't dream of sitting in that chair live a lifetime gambling that they can get away with sin. Foolishly they ignore the risk until the inevitable self-destruction.
C. The sovereign seeking
5 And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
Luke 19:5, 10
4 And he must needs go through Samaria.
10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.
John 4:4, 10
II. The Construction of the Fig Leaf Fashions v. 7b
A. There was an awakened consciousness
Adam and Eve were conscious that they had lost something. Chapter 2:25 describes a glory that surrounded the guilty pair that was now gone. Their purity of mind and heart that had clothed them was now torn away to reveal their nakedness and shame.
B. There was an arrested conscience
They hid themselves from God in the garden and then they sought to hide their sin by assigning blame first to the serpent, then to the women and finally to God himself. “Conscience tells us that we ought to do right, but it does not tell us what right is--that we are taught by God's word.”