And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

Genesis 3: 21

 

When I look at the two verses in this passage of Scripture that discuss the wearing of clothing, I usually look at the shamefulness of sin and its impact on these first people and on all of us going forward from them. This is truly the point of the first incidence in the story when Adam and Eve cover themselves with sewn together leaves, but as I look at this second discussion of clothing I think that there is something else going on here. This time the Lord does the work of creating the clothing. He takes the skins from animals and fashions clothing for these people who He has just confronted with their rebellion and with the resultant changes that will take place in their daily lives and on into the unforeseeable future. God has been very direct with them regarding the damage that their disobedience to Him has caused, but He has also shown them grace and mercy and provided them with His mission to carry our over the balance of their lives.

 

Now, the Father grants to Adam and to Eve the gift of dignity and respect. In their newly found awareness, they realize that they are naked, and they are now uncomfortable in this physical state. They are also vulnerable in the new world where they will be living. The impacts of their rebellion are causing changes in their environment that will turn it into a place where dangers are real and present. As they live outside of the perfection of God’s original creation they will encounter the harsh aspects of life that come with God’s curse upon the ground which are discovered as they engage in the Lord’s blessing of commission to care for the land that He has given to them. This new world where they are to live is a complicated and troubling place, and the Lord demonstrates the fact that He will continue to travel through this journey with them in this simple act of provision. God was caring for Adam and Eve in very personal and direct manner, and this care was a demonstration of the intimate and loving way that He goes through life with all of His people.

 

We are all rebellious and engage in thoughts and actions that are defiant of God’s expressed will and the direction that His Word provides to us. We also live in a world that can be dangerous and hostile to its inhabitants. So, we need protection, mercy, and grace in order to live well and to be at peace with our God and with ourselves as we do this. So, today just as it was with Adam and Eve, God comes after us in our times of wandering away from His righteous path. He confronts us with the truth of our sinfulness and even allows the consequences of it to impact our lives; yet, He also reaches out to us with His hands of mercy and cares for our brokenness. Christ reminds our troubled hearts of the fact that He has already paid the penalty for our sins and that in Him we are free to live out God’s calling for our lives. The Lord does for each of us the same thing that He did for our first ancestors in that He reaches out to us and provides us with His perfectly crafted garment that is made of love and grace, and He sends us out from where we are clothed in His dignity and respect to live out the purpose that He has devised for each of our lives.

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