The ‘Naked’ Question

When God asked Adam, “Where are you?”, Adam responded that he was hiding because he was naked. God followed Adam’s response with two additional questions. He asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” and secondly, “Have you disobeyed my commandment to refrain from eating the fruit of the forbidden tree?”

From Genesis 3:7, we learn that Adam and Eve had sewn themselves aprons of fig to cover themselves; so physically they were not naked. Then why did Adam say he was (still) naked? It is not physical nakedness that Adam and God are dialoging about here, but spiritual nakedness. Since there are no secret (hidden) sins from the sight of God, everyone stands exposed (spiritually naked) before God to whom we must each give our account (1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:13). We are counseled to buy white raiment (clothes/robes) so that we may be clothed and the shame of our nakedness does not appear (Revelation 3:18).

So who told Adam that he was naked? At that point in time, besides God and his creation of living things, which included the plants, the animals, the man Adam and the woman Eve – the other creature that was on earth, was the adversary (Satan). Satan had been kicked out of the presence of the Lord God (Isaiah 14:12) and he established his dominion on the earth as its god (2 Corinthians 4:4). He was walking to and fro on the earth (Job 1:7) as a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8) and he was in the garden of Eden (Ezekiel 28:13). God did not accuse Adam and Eve, but instead questioned Adam if he had disobeyed God, we can assume that it was not The Lord God who told Adam that he was naked. And since the plants and animals are not known to have natural vocal abilities, the plausible option is to speculate that it was Satan, that could have told Adam (and Eve) of their spiritual nakedness, for he is the accuser of the brethren (Revelation 12:10). However, this is merely a conjecture as the scripture does not explicitly confirm this.

The Scripture does tell us that the eyes of Adam and Eve was opened and then they realized that they were naked. When Jesus said, “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone” and stooped to write in the ground, the Bible records, that the accusers of the adulteress, were convicted by their own conscience (John 8:9) and they left her, one by one. Jesus also said, that when the Holy Spirit of God comes upon you, he will convict the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (John 16:8-11). When the breath of life (Holy Spirit of God) was breathed into the lifeless body of dust (of Adam), Adam became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). It is more plausible that the Holy Spirit convicted Adam and Eve of their sin and of righteousness and judgment; of sin (that they disobeyed God and were beguiled by Satan), of righteousness (that they had fallen short of God’s glory and found themselves to be spiritually naked needing now robes of righteousness) and of judgment (that made them afraid for along with the prince of this world, they would also be judged unless they are clothed in righteousness).

Points to ponder:
There is no condemnation to those who are clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit of God (Romans 8:1). It is not quiet as important as to who tells us that we are spiritually naked – be it the accusation of the adversary (Satan), or the conviction of the Holy Spirit in our own conscience, when we sin. What is of critical importance is, that, when God calls for us saying “Where are you?”, will we find ourselves saying that we are spiritually “naked”? – that is the question. Let us be clothed with the white robes of Jesus’ righteousness, being imputed on us, when we believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only son and Savior, so that when The Lord God comes looking for us, we will not have to hide, as a result of our spiritual nakedness. Are you (spiritually) naked (and hiding) – that is the question?

Genesis 3:11 (KJV)
11 And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?

Revelation 3:18 (KJV)
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

Aprons of fig leaves – FAIL

After Adam and Eve, the first man and woman, disobey God, they became aware (their eyes were opened) of their folly and they realized that they were exposed and unclothed. So they make a vain attempt to sew fig leaves together and made themselves the first aprons (clothes) to cover their shame. Then they hear the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day; and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God. (Genesis 3:6-8)

When this account is viewed cursorily, one tends to miss out certain key aspects of the consequences of sin and some characteristics of God. First, sin brings with it nakedness and shame when exposed. Can you even fathom telling  your closest friend or family member, all of the sins that you have committed or are still committing? It creates a shameful situation, doesn’t it? When we disobey God, we are naked before him for there can be no secret (hidden) sins (Psalm 90:8). Second, in their effort to cover their shame that resulted from their willful disobedience, Adam and his wife attempted to cover their sinful state, with their own human efforts – sewing themselves the first aprons from fig leaves. But when they hear the Lord God walking in the garden, they hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God, implying that their efforts to cover their sin was insufficient (an epic FAILure) to cover their sinful state of shame. Third, we see that in the cool of the day, God came to visit man as a Father seeking his lost son, and his voice was heard.

Points to ponder:
First, when we sin we are naked before God – in a state of sinful shame that needs to be covered. Since all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23), we are all exposed before God. Second, no human effort can cover sin. In fact, the very attempt of man to achieve salvation on his or her own efforts is cursed. Remember, how Jesus cursed the fig tree which had no fruit but just leaves (Matthew 21:19; Mark 11:13-14) – leaves that could be sewn to make aprons to cover sin (Genesis 3:7).  The remission of sin takes the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22; Matthew 26:28) and it takes a sacrifice to cover the shame of sin. God had to shed blood to cover man with a hide that could hide God’s wrath from man (Genesis 3:21).It takes the blood of Jesus alone to cover our sinful state. Third, no amount of sin can keep God away from us. His beckoning call as an eager father seeking his lost son, is ever present and his voice heard, asking us to repent, irrespective of our sinfulness. If we believe in Jesus Christ, whom God the Father gave out of his love for us, to be THE SACRIFICE to cover our sin and shame, we have no reason to hid ourselves from the presence of the Lord God. If we don’t believe, then we have absolutely no covering whatsoever, in heaven or earth or in it, to protect us from God’s holy judgment and wrath. Let us believe and not have the need to sew aprons, to hide ourselves from the presence of a loving God, I beseech you.

Genesis 3:6-8 (KJV)
6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
8 And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.