Focal Passage: Genesis 3:1-7; 21-24
Occasionally, walking through a clothing store or flipping through a catalog, I decide I need something new to wear. I then place those new clothes in the closet until my thoughtless habit of picking out something to wear each evening occurs.
Yet, when God made clothes, called garments of skins, for Adam and Eve, it was neither mindless nor thoughtless. It was intentional, protective, and atoning (vs. 21-25).
Intentional. God was the doer of the action. He was the One who made the clothes. Adam and Eve had yielded to the tempter and had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. They had been “naked and not ashamed” before their act of sin, but now they hid from God and had tried making their own clothing because they were “ashamed.”
The results of their sinful actions brought judgment. The verdict of judgment was both harsh and demanding, including the pronouncement of death — “dust” to “dust.” Adam and Eve, about to leave the Garden of Eden and knowing now that death would come eventually, knew that a new way of life was coming.
In Genesis 2-3, the name of God takes on a dual role — the Lord God or Yahweh Elohim. God was both powerful and personal. Both creation and judgment reflected His power, and now, caring for Adam and Eve reflects His compassion.
God took the initiative to find them in the Garden when they hid after their sinful action and then to provide “new” clothes for them, not the old fig leaves they had made. He provided clothes necessary for them not to be ashamed. Even amid judgment being passed, our compassionate God was still working to bring hope to His people.
Protective. New garments would help Adam and Eve face the harsh realities outside the Garden. “Nakedness” in the Bible brought “shame.” Adam and Eve realized it. The sons of Noah realized it (Genesis 9:21-23). The priests realized it (Exodus 20:26). God covered the shame of sin and nakedness. God protected His children.
Atoning. The covering of nakedness through clothing was the first picture in Scripture of atonement, beginning with the slaughter of innocent animals.
Though not detailed in Scripture, for God to make “garments of skin,” innocent animals had to be slaughtered. Animals that Adam had just named were now killed. Because of their sinful action, clothing was made for Adam and Eve to wear.
I wonder if that might have taken place in front of them so that they would know the price of sin — the shedding of blood, the suffering of death and the substitutionary sacrifice of another. Beginning in the Garden, then seen in the Mosiac Law (Leviticus 4:28-31), and then in the death of Jesus, Scripture teaches that sin costs greatly (Hebrews 9:22).
God demonstrated His mercy to Adam and Eve following their sinful action. When death should be expected — “you shall surely die,” — God “clothed” them to demonstrate for them and us His grace upon grace, for His children. B&R