Summary: Sin is defined as exaltation of the self. The message explores some of the ramifications of our fallen condition, pointing to the sole cure for sin.

“God [asked Adam], ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’” [1]

The first question God asked of the man was, “Where are you” [GENESIS 3:9]? The man’s response was the first indication that things had changed for the first couple. Adam said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself” [GENESIS 3:10]. This elicited the further question, “Who told you that you were naked” [GENESIS 3:11]?

It would be easy to dismiss the question as merely casual, or as something expected in the normal course of conversation under the circumstances. However, there is so much more underlying the query of our first father. I invite you to join me in exploring the ramifications of the question, applying what we learn in our own lives. In doing this, I contend that we will equip ourselves to serve the Master more effectively, honouring Him through the service we render to Him and to the praise of His glory.

HOW DID WE GET WHERE WE ARE? — Let’s recall what has occurred to this point in the narrative. The LORD God created a man who He named Adam. Adam was placed in a beautiful garden and charged to guard the garden, watching over it, tending to the plants growing in the garden, ensuring that all was well in the garden. God then enabled the man to recognise his distinctive position in all creation; none of the animals could truly be his partner. So, God made from the man’s side a woman; she would complement the man. The man received the woman as the one who would ensure that his life was complete.

It is obvious that the LORD God did a good thing, for when He presented the woman to the man, the man’s response was ecstatic joy. “The man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.”

[GENESIS 2:23]

It is at this point that we encounter what is, to our minds, an enigmatic statement—enigmatic because we really cannot understand what is being said. The divine commentary on the presentation of God’s complement for the man is, “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed” [GENESIS 2:24, 25]. Because God Himself instituted marriage—the union of one man to one woman, we may be certain that marriage flows from creation. Moreover, marriage is good because it was instituted by God and given for the benefit of mankind. Finally, marriage is designed to complement both man and woman before God.

I am certain that even in this age replete with fallen ideas and ideals we comprehend that truth, though many are obviously intent on imputing a novel meaning to what is stated as divine truth. However, it is the second part of the divine commentary that we cannot truly understand. The LORD God says, “The man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” Shame, uneasiness, is part of our lives when we are stripped of all coverings and all masks. That is one of the dreadful transformations resulting from the entrance of sin into creation.

How long the first couple continued in this idyllic setting is not known. However, behind the scenes a dreadful event had taken place. An angel, Day Star by name, created to be the covering angel, rebelled and drew over one-third of the holy angels with him in his insurgency. These rebels were cast out of heaven and to the earth. Day Star was transformed into the enemy of all that God had created, for he sought to displace God. Thus, this angel, presenting himself in the form of a serpent, approached our first mother and endeavoured to lead her into rebellion against the stated will of the Creator.

The account of that temptation and the consequences are outlined quite simply in the verses preceding our text this day. “[The serpent] said to the woman, ‘Did God actually say, “You shall not eat of any tree in the garden”?’ And the woman said to the serpent, ‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”’ But the serpent said to the woman, ‘You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths” [GENESIS 3:1-7].

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J L Khalaf

commented on Sep 26, 2015

Excuse me, but I just have to disagree that it is because of Adam ignoring God that we will never be able to stand and say, "here we stand before God and humankind without shame," because we will when creation gets restored!h

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