Genesis 3:1-10 (The Message)So I read this passage this weekend and something struck me. I have read this story probably a couple hundred times and discussed many more times. However, I never thought about this fact...
The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal God had made. He spoke to the Woman: "Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?"
The Woman said to the serpent, "Not at all. We can eat from the trees in the garden. It's only about the tree in the middle of the garden that God said, 'Don't eat from it; don't even touch it or you'll die.'"
The serpent told the Woman, "You won't die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you'll see what's really going on. You'll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil."
When the Woman saw that the tree looked like good eating and realized what she would get out of it—she'd know everything!—she took and ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband, and he ate.
Immediately the two of them did "see what's really going on"—saw themselves naked! They sewed fig leaves together as makeshift clothes for themselves.
When they heard the sound of God strolling in the garden in the evening breeze, the Man and his Wife hid in the trees of the garden, hid from God.
God called to the Man: "Where are you?"
He said, "I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid."
Prior to eating the fruit from the tree of good & evil, God saw Adam and Eve as they were...but Adam and Eve saw themselves as God viewed them...as His children. In the instant that it took to crunch into that apple (or whatever kind of fruit it was), they saw themselves...as un-God-like...They realized the vastness of God...they realized how BIG He is versus how small they were... I think that "naked" must be both literal and spiritual here. In their nakedness, they saw their human-ness. They recognized that they were no longer immortal, but finite...while God is infinite.
Perhaps, as we look at this passage and we consider our need to hide...the fact that we often run from God...we see that we are much like Adam and Eve. Deep within our soul, we know that God is separate...He is holy...there is an other-worldliness to Him...
Anyone who knows me well, knows that I have a special love for the Chronicles of Narnia. I love the mystery, the whisper that we were created for another world... I envision that Adam and Eve walked through the Garden of Eden in the cool of the day, just as Lucy and Susan walked with Aslan. Their was a deep companionship, an understanding of the authority Aslan had given to them alone...no other creature was as priviledged as the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve.... no other creature was as priviledges as Adam and Eve...they walked with God...they saw His Face, His Voice was the most familiar Voice. And in the instant of recognizing their nakedness...they suddenly understood all that they had lost... Intimacy with Creator God...
Why do we hide? Because we see our own nakedness, our own sense of insignificance...we recognize our shortcomings and our inability to be whole in our own selves... and we look for ways to cover up...to hide...in hopes that God will not see us...will not see our lack.
But we forget, we fail to recognize...God has always seen us as naked...and yet He loved us. Just like a father who holds his infant for the first time...suddenly he realizes the power that he has to either protect or harm his little one...there is an intrinsic love that washes over a father and a mother...they recognize their world is not just about themselves anymore...God loves us more than that...