Sep

26

Naked And Afraid

By pastorbillwalden

Genesis 3:7-11 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 8 And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, their eyes were opened, and they realized that they were naked, and they were afraid and embarrassed.  They sewed figs leaves together and sought to cover their nakedness.

One aspect of this passage that has intrigued me is this: sin brought a very unhealthy self-awareness into the lives of Adam and Eve.  This unhealthy self-awareness or self-conscientiousness didn’t exist prior to their sin.  After their sin, they were very occupied with “self”.

Isn’t this part of the fallout of sin?  Isn’t this part of the nature of sin?  Preoccupation with self?  Unhealthy concern about self?  Before they sinned, they were free of unhealthy self-consciousness.  They were like little kids running naked through the sprinklers on the front lawn.  There wasn’t any concern about self.

Now I am not suggesting that open nudity is the answer to our problems with “preoccupation of self”.  Man, I am blushing even writing it. (sheesh!)

What I am suggesting is this: When we are greatly influenced by sin, we lose freedom before God and man .  We worry what people think about us.  We try to present our “good” side.  We dress a certain way, etc.  We hesitate to open up and be vulnerable.

Isn’t openness and vulnerability without fear a great blessing whenever we experience it?  Freedom to speak and “be” with certain friends who totally accept us the way we are?  Freedom to be ourselves as God made us to be?

For more reading on this idea, here’s a link to a sermon given by the late Ray Stedman, former pastor of Penninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto, CA.

Blessings…

http://www.pbc.org/files/messages/3369/0316.html

13 Responses so far

“Isn’t this part of the fallout of sin? Isn’t this part of the nature of sin? Preoccupation with self? Unhealthy concern about self? ”

Great post Bill! The Lord was showing me that as well. My “signature” on my e-mail now is “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking less about yourself.” Hard to do especially in the “take care of you!” mentality so prevalent today.

Thanks for sharing.

Hi PB –

Pastor Greg Laurie said, ‘And lead us not into temptation’ – for we can find it all by ourselves –
or – ‘i can resist anything, but temptation’

Thanks for this ‘flashing-red-light’ reminder that when tempted to be ‘self-focused’ this is sin and we need to repent and ask for God’s forgiveness, for His strength and power – to give all of our concerns over to Him – and to trust that He will help us – He is our God, our Heavenly Father – and He cares for us.

Blessings,
helen

FYI – the above quote: ‘ i can resist anything, but temptation’ was NOT a quote from Pastor Greg –

and that quote is not true of us as believers –

as God tells us in – 1 Corinthians 10:13 –
“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.”

… thought a little clarification was needed … as after reading it realized it could be misunderstood – thanks

PB,

A professor I once had asked “If your life is not about you, then who is it about?” His point was other cultures are not as “me” oriented as the American culture, they are more community minded. I know there are some Christians who will shout right away – it is about Jesus. But I am not thinking in terms of doctrine, but in terms of how do we really live our lives. Would non-Christians who know us say that our lives are ALL about Jesus?

Maybe I cannot think outside of the box, but I cannot imagine how my life could not have some element of self-awareness. Even if I was a very noble Christian, (which I am not) and always put myself last, was always a true servant, there would still be a sense of self. To die daily, I must be somewhat self-aware this even needs to be done.

I am not sure the scripture supports that self-awareness did not exist before they sinned, perhaps this idea is correct. But it seems to me it could be proposed that they now understood the consequences of being naked. Now they simply understood a vulnerability that existed. Before they did not understand lust, but once sin entered the picture they saw their nakedness through sinful eyes.

The naked truth is I don’t know, but just wanted to throw in a little different perspective. There is a chance I have only exposed my ignorance, but isn’t that 50% of blogging? 😉

BMR

When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden they lost their freedom and fell prey to a fallen sin nature. Since then mankind has needed the covering of the righteousness of Christ. We as believers certainly do have this covering, but we still have a sin nature. Each day we must seek forgiveness, work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, we are growing in our sanctification, we are ‘putting off the old man’ and putting on the new, we seek to be of the same mind…the mind of Christ. Each day we put to death the misdeeds of the flesh.

The side of me that I want my brethren and those in the world to see is the side that is submitted to God, a side that others can clearly see the work of the Holy Spirit in. This is an active choice. It takes forethought in the basics of how we conduct ourselves and how we appear and come across to others. This is a conscientious effort because we are not ‘all that God has made us to be’ yet. We are not perfect yet.

The choices we make each day regarding how we conduct our selves in word, deed, thought, attitude and appearance is a work by faith stemming from our greatest desire to serve God in deed and in truth and see those around us blessed with the saving knowledge of Christ for both believers and unbelievers alike.

I am convicted that we must “abstain from every form of evil” 1 Thess. 5:22. This too is a choice. Though we have much freedom in Christ within ourselves, some of our freedoms can become a stumbling block to believers and unbelievers alike. Paul says “Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved.” 1 Cor. 10:32,33.

If there is any ‘good’ side of us or any ‘vulnerable’ side of us to be seen, may it be that which is in service to God that all may benefit and be saved.

Yours in Christ,
Charlene

BMR,

“The naked truth is….”. Ahh, classic. 🙂

I think that whatever self awareness existed before the Fall, that kind of self awareness didn’t make them want to hide from God or cover up from one another.

Perhaps that line of thinking ought to be the working definition for the discussion at hand.

Thanks for your thoughts, er, uh, perspective, uh,…50% of , uh, whatever…

🙂

Pastorbill: You hit the nail on the head. A preoccupation with self is the mentality of the fallen; and yet all too often we see it in the church. Statements like, “What does this church have to offer me?” reflect a self-centered mindset. Instead, it should be, “How can I help here at this church?”

God forgive us, we all suffer from this to one extent or another…

From the book under His influence by Lloyd Pulley.

Over one hundred years ago, two young men were talking in Ireland. One said, “The world has yet to see what God will do with a man who is fully consecrated to Him.” The other man meditated on that thought for weeks. It so gripped him that one day he exclaimed, “By the Holy Spirit in me I’ll be that man.” Historians now say that he touched two continents for Christ. His name was Dwight L. Moody.

Also from this book, “It is not how much of God that I have, but how much of me that He has.”

“I think that whatever self awareness existed before the Fall, that kind of self awareness didn’t make them want to hide from God or cover up from one another.”

– Are you saying that some people come to church to hide from God? … never thought about it like that …

PB:
The link you posted to Ray Stedman’s article draws everything together as to why, when we feel guilty, we hide from God and from others – even in church.

As Charlene put it so well, it’s our basic sin nature that we need to deal with on a daily basis – according to God’s Word – and in the power of His Holy Spirit –
Getting our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus is the most freeing and liberating choice that we can continually make

– which allows us to draw close to God and to others without feeling we need to hide –

Jesus puts things in their proper perspective…

Hi PB;
After last night’s discussion i got a clearer picture of what you’re speaking about in this thread of topic:

Before the fall, Adam and Eve were walking with God and God’s ‘shining’ glory covered them, after they sinned, they lost that covering of God’s glory, that ‘radiance’ that shone all around them for just being in God’s presence –

and after they were removed from His presence and the Garden of Eden- He needed to clothe them differently, with coats of animal skins – which was the first recorded animal sacrifice showing the need for a blood sacrifice to cover man’s sinfulness.

This morning i did some Scripture searches throughout the whole Bible on “Put on” and “Clothe yourself”

– seeing that after the ‘Original Sin’ – we each deal daily with our sin nature and need to put off the old nature and put on Christ

– God has again provided us with ‘coverings’ through our relationship with Christ – and God’s glory is once more seen in us when we’re walking in the spirit – that ‘glowing’ that comes from being in fellowship with God.

Though I understand what you’re saying, they were covered in God’s Radiance and only that could be seen-

but when they disobeyed God, sin entered the picture their radiance was gone – the awareness of being unclothed was embarrasing and frightening –

for not only were they aware they’d lost something precious and ‘glorious’ but they were awakened to the shame of disobeying God and it’s consequences –

– and their response is just like ours in our sinfulness – we deny it or blame someone or something else

– as the sting of sin is death – and the reality of sin brings judgment and condemnnation…

but thanks be to God for Jesus Christ who saves us from our guilt and shame ~ 1 JOHN 1:9

Great Discussion last night and gives more clarity to this blog entry ~

Hey Helen,
It was a good discussion Monday night. Keep in mind that the idea of being covered in God’s radiance isn’t clearly found in Scripture, but it does seem like a possible explanation of what happened in the Garden.

If that is indeed the case…wow! A lot comes together, and we have a lot to look forward to.

Good Morning, PB;
The Shikinah Glory that covered Moses’ face after he’d been in God’s presence up on the mountain shows that when someone’s in God’s presence that they are affected and that others can see the radiance that comes from them –

Here’s some Scriptural references to the cloud of God’s glory which is through-out Scripture that shows us God’s glorious provision for the ‘covering’ of His people.
I hope this is not too much info for your blog, but here goes:

First Manifestation Of
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 13:20,21

Cloud of Glory:
The cloud
Exd 34:5

CALLED:
Pillar of cloud and pillar of fire
Exd 13:22

Cloudy pillar
Exd 33:9,10

Cloud of the Lord
Num 10:34

The presence of God
Exd 33:14,15

GOD’S GLORY MANIFESTED IN:
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 16:10; 40:35

GOD CAME DOWN:
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 34:5; Num 11:25

GOD SPOKE FROM:
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 24:16; Psa 99:7

WAS DESIGNED TO:
Cloud of Glory:
Regulate the movements of Israel
Exd 40:36,37; Num 9:17-23

Guide Israel
Exd 13:21; Neh 9:19

Show light to Israel
Psa 105:39

Defend Israel
Exd 14:19; Psa 105:39

Cover the tabernacle
Exd 40:34; Num 9:15

WAS DARK TO THE ENEMIES OF ISRAEL:
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 14:20

WAS THE SHEKINAH OVER THE MERCY-SEAT:
Cloud of Glory:
Lev 16:2

CONTINUED DURING JOURNEYING’S OF ISRAEL:
Cloud of Glory:
Exd 13:22; 40:38

MANIFESTED IN THE TEMPLE OF SOLOMON
Cloud of Glory:
1Ki 8:10,11; 2Ch 5:13; Eze 10:4

SPECIAL APPEARANCES OF:
Cloud of Glory:
At the murmuring for bread
Exd 16:10

At giving of the law
Exd 19:9,16; 24:16-18

At sedition of Aaron and Miriam
Num 12:5

At the murmuring of Israel on the report of the spies
Num 14:10

At the rebellion of Korah &c
Num 16:19

At the murmuring of Israel on account of Korah’s death
Num 16:42

At Christ’s transfiguration
Mat 17:5

At Christ’s ascension
Act 1:9

OUR LORD SHALL MAKE HIS SECOND APPEARANCE IN:
Cloud of Glory:
Luk 21:27; Act 1:11

ILLUSTRATIVE OF:
Cloud of Glory:
The glory of Christ
Rev 10:1

The protection of the church
Isa 4:5

Have a blessed day – i know that perhaps these verses don’t explicidly relate to whether or not Adam and Eve were covered in God’s amazing, radiant glory – a covering of light that covered their nakedness before the fall as they walked with God in the Garden of Eden,

but i’m with you in this – all God has for us is ‘Glorious’ and ‘Radiant’ – and if God’s covering us with anything – it will be noticablely Great!

helen

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