Shortcomings of Loincloths

Genesis 3:7 “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 loin coverings.”

Observation: Sin had been firmly established through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Having eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they gained knowledge as their understanding was opened to their nakedness. Since they lived with both the immediate and the long-term consequences of sin, they viewed their nakedness with shame rather than delight, and took steps to cover themselves from one another.

Application: Sin is an awful bedfellow, but in my natural condition it is inescapable. Its consequences are often immediate, always long-term, and unfailingly horrific. The Word says that as they understood their nakedness, they sewed fig leaves together to make themselves loin coverings. In this I must see that they traded God’s covering for a covering they made themselves.

Every aspect of the story is tragic, but none more than this. God’s covering had brought peace and fellowship with Him and delight in one another and in their surroundings. They were soon to be expelled from Eden, sentenced to earn their living by sweat, to bear children in pain, and to live with the loss of intimacy with God. Their own covering was a poor substitute indeed, a false covering which necessarily led to a false identity.

“I can do it myself! I must try harder or work smarter. I’ll have to get up earlier to get a jump on our competitors. I’ll be watching next time, ready for any funny business they might try.” The man or woman who has for a covering their own ingenuity, their own capabilities, is in deep trouble. We get our identity from our covering, and there are only two possible sources: from God or from the place where Adam shopped. Take this challenge: go to the loincloth department of the finest clothing store in town. The best they have will still permit the cold, chilling updraft of reality to blow in. Even the freshest of fig leaves will soon dry and crumble.

Terror of exposure will dog me all my days until I at last confess that I must come under a more substantial covering. I need a cleft in an immovable Rock in which to hide, not the vagaries of a loin covering of my own making. Christ gave His life to purchase for me His kingdom, the me whom He found pitiably cowering behind fig leaves of my own design. He again offers me the open doors of Eden. Will I be wise enough to enter into Him?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, all the striving in the world leaves me exhausted and failed. Thank You for reestablishing Your covering over me, and for the peace and rest I find there.


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