Genesis 3-4 and Matthew 2
One of the more lingering adolescent experiences was changing for gym in the middle school locker room. I can still smell the dense body orders and feel the salty mist hanging in the air. I tried to get to the gym early, that way I didn’t have to skimp down to my drawers in front of everyone. As a kid that was called “dough boy” in the last two years of middle school, I definitely had some heightened body image issues that directly correlated with my self-esteem. Taking your clothes off in front of people (or having people take them off in front of you) can be pretty embarrassing to say the least. Thankfully, I powered through those moments, but can say without a doubt that I didn’t like and still am not a fan of dressing out.
“Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.” Gen 2:25
“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.” – Genesis 3:7
The Garden of Eden was originally a nudist colony of two residents: Adam and Eve. The thing is, they had no idea that they were even exposed. I have thought about this a great deal (in a less picturing, more vicarious way), and came to peace with nakedness neither being the sweat-building, panic-inducing deal that it was in my middle school locker room, nor the lust-driven, eye-catching act that entangles many men and women (but especially men). It isn’t a source of shame or sexuality. If there is no sin, we are free to walk around naked. Now this is not a call to rip off all your clothes and walk out into the world in your birthday suit. Remember, you don’t live in Eden. Sin still exists.
As we do everything we can to walk closer with God in his garden, We might expose ourselves in a different way. First, we come before God honestly. When we pray, let’s not hide or lie. God already knows the truth. It may be completely shameful what we have done. We may field consequences from God, but isn’t open repentance much better than the persisting falsehood? If we live a lie long enough, we will begin to believe it over what God is directly telling us. Also, we can live more exposed in front of others. Again, clothes on. Shame is the depressant that keeps us from forgiveness and moving forward. Being vulnerable, sharing the most disastrous parts of your testimony, can be tougher than any middle school locker room. You open yourself up to the loss of opportunities, ridicule, and even persecution. It doesn’t matter. God, who works all things together, will turn your shame into His glory, and in the process you will be restored.
I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, My soul will be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, As a groom puts on a turban, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. – Isaiah 61:10
Now, there may be a few pistons firing, making the connection that the Kingdom of God will bring about something similar to a second Eden. If so, will we be naked? Thankfully, there does seem to be some subtle statements about being clothed, at least with a crown and a smile, but the reality is it will not matter. We will be made new and complete in the most ultimate version there is. No sin. No shame. So, naked or not, here I come.
Thank you all for the opportunity to share my faith with you this week. I pray that 2021 holds many blessings from God, and we all have the provision, strength, and wisdom to pursue whatever path he has laid out for our lives.
SeekGrowLove.com Editor: Welcome to the Second day of our 2021 Bible reading plan! Print your copy below so you can mark and keep track of your progress. Most days we will read 2 Old Testament chapters and 1 chapter from the New Testament or Proverbs or a few Psalms. Every week we have a new devotions writer who will either write about the daily readings – OR – they may write all week on one Biblical theme they would like to pursue further. Tomorrow, we begin the first theme week as Greg Landry takes a closer look at Creation. We look forward to together Seeking God, Growing our Faith and Loving more and more this year!