Summary: What was the first thing that was lost when Adam and Eve ate of the fruit?
OPEN: A mother told about her 7-year-old daughter, Jessica. Jessica always seemed to understand the deeper things of Scripture. One time they were reading the story of Adam and Eve and talked about how sin had come into the world. But then, later that week, Jessica became ill and had to stay home from school. She felt miserable… and said to her mother: “If only Adam and Eve hadn’t eaten the fruit, I wouldn’t be sick.” But before the mother could answer, she quickly added, “But, of course, if they didn’t eat it, we’d be sitting here naked!” (Sarah Ames, Kobe, Japan)
The story of Adam and Eve has always had that unique aspect to it - they ate of the fruit and then realized (pause) they were naked. God came down into the garden and called out: “Adam where are you?” And Adam replied "I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself." And God said… "Who told you that you were naked? Did you eat of the tree I told you not to eat of?”
WHO TOLD YOU YOU WERE NAKED?
But wait…. they were always naked! When God first created Adam and Eve we’re told: “the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Genesis 2:25
ILLUS: I recently heard a preacher talk about the loss of innocence. He spoke of watching his 2 year old son playing in the pool with a 2 yr. old girl. They were both naked. And it didn’t seem to bother the kids, and it didn’t bother the parents. because there was no shame… there was only innocence. But that innocence was what was lost at garden.
ILLUS: A preacher was conducting a Bible study in his home, and he asked those present if they could give an example of those different types of love. His little daughter held up her hand and the preacher said, “OK Sarah, what example do you have of love?” The little girl smiled and said “Sometimes daddy takes a shower with mommy.” (Christian Standard 9/11/94)
That little girl wasn’t embarrassed, because in her mind that was innocent and natural. And that was how it was with Adam and Eve in the beginning. They were naked, and they weren’t ashamed because they were innocent. There was no lewd thoughts, no vulgar imagination. But all that changed when Adam and Eve ate the fruit. Their sin robbed US (and them) of innocence.
So in Genesis 2 we’re told they were naked and NOT ashamed… but now - after they ate of the fruit - they’re naked and ashamed. What’s changed? THE SHAME. They were ashamed now after they’d eaten the fruit. Not just with regard to sexual behavior… but with everything. Innocence was gone!
(PAUSE) Now, this sermon series is focused on the idea that God REVERSED the CURSE. The sin of Adam and Eve brought a curse upon mankind, and this curse that robbed us of God’s blessings. The world around us has become perverted and corrupted all because of Adam and Eve’s decision. Their decision robbed us of innocence and replaced it with shame.
ILLUS: The TV network “Hulu” is airing a documentary called “Brooke Shields: Pretty Baby.” For those of you aren’t familiar with Brooke Shields, she was a “sex symbol” of the day. At age 11 she was filmed in the nude for a 1978 movie “Pretty Baby”. At age 14, she starred in a movie called “The Blue Lagoon” where she played the part of a young girl who was trapped on an island with a boy she gradually “fell in love with” with all the innuendo of sexual interplay. As a result, Shields was robbed of her innocence by unscrupulous and manipulative folks in Hollywood. And in the documentary, she explained that this atmosphere she grew up in made it so she was “paralyzed from shame." And that shame later damaged her real-life relationships. (https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/brooke-shields-apologized-dean-cain-not-easy-college-relationship)
It was like she was saying that she was hiding from intimacy because of what she’d lost. She’d lost the innocence of her youth, and that robbed her of many of the joys of life. You see, the reason folks struggle with shame is because they recognize what they’ve lost.
ILLUS: Years ago I read the story of a police station where there’d just been a major take down of a prostitution ring. And one of the girls who’d been arrested could be heard repeatedly crying: “This isn’t who I am!” What did she mean? She meant – I’m not really a prostitute. This isn’t WHO I am! Being a prostitute wasn’t how she saw herself. In the back of her mind was the image of what she believed she could have been. In the back of her mind was the belief that she was meant to be MORE than what she’d become. Because in the back of her mind was the belief that she had been created to be something special. That she was a child made in the image of God. She might not have said it that way… but that’s what she’d lost. She’d been robbed of her specialness, of her innocence and that was the curse of the garden.