Once Satan convinced Eve to question God, getting her to eat the fruit was a small hurdle. Anytime you find someone confused about God’s word, sin is inevitable. It’s the obvious next step.
And sin always feels less sinful when we have company, so Eve convinced Adam to eat the fruit as well.
Scripture records, “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves” (Gen. 3:7).
What’s the first thing you and I do when we sin? We try to hide our sin from God. We try to cover up what we’ve done. We cower in shame, because anytime we fall for Satan’s lies, shame is the response he’s after. He shames us into sin, and then shames us for sinning.
He begins by coaxing us into disobedience. “What are you, a coward? Are you really afraid of eating a small piece of fruit?”
Then, once the deed is done, he wags his bony finger in our direction. “Look what you’ve done now! God is never going to forgive you for that!”
The irony would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly and destructive. And effective.
So Adam and Eve hid when they heard God walking in the garden.
The Lord called out to Adam, and Adam answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (v. 10).
God’s response to Adam was probably not the response he expected. “Who told you that you were naked?” (v. 11).
God was saying to Adam, “You didn’t hear that from me. Who’s been whispering in your ear? Do you think I’m shocked by your nakedness? I created you that way.”
God wanted Adam and Eve to know that they had been listening to the wrong voice. That they had been deceived into thinking that God was ashamed of them.
And you and I need to hear that same message.
God is not shocked by our nakedness. He understands our frailties and vulnerabilities. He understands our pain. He understands the humanity that causes us to sin, and he loves us in spite of it. You and I were created in love, and no amount of sin can destroy that love.
It is in our nakedness that drives us away from God; it’s our hiding. It isn’t sin that keeps his distance; it’s how we respond on the heels of sin. It isn’t God’s voice speaking shame into our hearts; it’s the voice of the enemy.
Watch Jimmy Evans on LIFE Today this Monday and Tuesday. Excerpted from When Life Hurts: Finding Hope and Healing from the Pain You Carry by Jimmy Evans. Copyright ©2013 by Jimmy Evans. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Used with permission.