“Who Told Adam and Eve They Were Naked?”
Tom: This portion of our program is dedicated to understanding the scriptures, especially the major doctrines taught in the Bible. And that’s not only for our sake, that we all might grow in the faith, which was once delivered to the saints, but also that we might be able to explain and clearly share our faith with others.
Today, we’re continuing our study of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, which holds the key to some very critical questions about the Christian faith, the foremost being “Why did God have to become a man and go to the cross to die for the sins of mankind? What problem could have caused such a staggering event?” Well, the answer is found in the very first book of the Bible, so if you’re not familiar with what it says, we hope we can be an encouragement to you to search these particular scriptures with us.
In verse 17 of Genesis chapter two, God presented a condition to Adam and Eve, telling them that if they ate the fruit of a certain tree in the garden of Eden, the penalty for their disobedience would be death—spiritual death, which meant spiritual separation from God forever, and physical death, which would begin to take effect in their bodies.
Some time after that, Satan tempted Eve with lies. Her response, as well as her husband’s, is found in Genesis:3:6. She disobeyed God, and so did Adam.
Dave, we’re going to pick up with verse 8: “And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. And Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees in the garden.”
They sinned. There were these consequences, certainly reactions, that they would never have considered prior to sin in their lives.
Dave: Well, Tom, you know, some people think, “Wait a minute! Come on, what is this? Some kind of a myth? This tree, and the talking serpent, and so forth. Some allegory? Or just a fable to illustrate something?” No, it actually happened. Genesis is the foundation of the Bible, and it was, as we’ve said in the past, just to remind our listeners out there, it’s the simplest command God could have given. This is why it was a tree—because they had an abundance of trees. They had…why would they have to eat of this tree? And I don’t think it was anything special. I don’t think it had a different kind of fruit than any other tree had. It could have been an apple tree, peach, pear—I’m sure that they had many other trees with the same kind of fruit. It wasn't that there was some power in the fruit. It was the act of disobedience, that’s the problem.
So He gave them the simplest command, and they didn’t obey it. They rebelled! They tried to be little gods themselves, to run their own lives, and that’s the problem that we have in the world today. Now, suddenly…
Tom: Things changed
Tom: Big time.
Dave: Suddenly, they are separated from God. They realize—they’re guilty. They realize they’ve done wrong, just like a little child who’s been stealing cookies while mommy’s at the store, and when she comes back and finds out, uh oh! You’ve got jam on your mouth, or whatever, you know.
So, it’s a reaction that has repeated itself all down through history, but this is between the first man and his wife and God. And this is where the separation began, and this is why the Bible tells us there is a barrier now! And from this point on, between God and man, there is a chasm—a separation. And it can’t be taken care of just by, “Okay, that’s all right.” And pat us on the head, and …
Tom: Simple apologies are not going to work here.
Dave: “Tell them you’re sorry, and then we’ll start all over again.” No! God is a God of perfect justice. And it’s just like the inexorable laws of the universe. Laws of gravity. If you jump out of a plane and say, “Well, Granny says there’s a law of gravity, but, I mean, birds can fly, why can’t I?” No, there is.
And this is a moral law, and we violated it. We’re rebels. We’ve rebelled against God! I mean that’s… We rebelled against God! That is so unthinkable! It is so horrible!
Tom: Dave, I want to get on with these scriptures, but there’s a thought that I’m sure some people—well, maybe it troubled some. God is love. God is certainly just. But He’s also merciful. Why couldn’t mercy have come into play here? I mean, it does, but I’m talking about in terms of sort of smoothing over their sin.
Dave: Well, there is mercy. You get it in Psalm 85: “Mercy and truth are met together. Righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” And there’s no peace without righteousness, and there’s no real mercy without truth. Mercy over what? You know, a lot of parents say, “Don’t tell me what my child has done. Don’t tell me they’re into drugs or this or that. I just want to forgive them.”
No, I have to face the consequences, and then mercy. Mercy rejoices in judgment. Mercy must be merciful about something, because of something. And if it’s just so simple that God can just say, “Well, it’s okay, no problem,” no! God made a statement. He said, “You eat of this tree, in the day you eat of it, you will die.” Now, death came! God can’t go back on His Word. The problem now is how are we going to bring life out of death? He can’t go back and say, “Well, I’m sorry I said that,” (God says) “I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have really made the consequences so severe.”
No, the consequences are because of who God is, because of His character, and because of the very nature of the universe that He’s made and the relationship that man must have with Him. It’s that basic. And now, death has entered the human race. Now, we’re going to have to somehow bring life out of death—a new race out of this old race. How will that happen?
That’s what the rest of the Bible is about.
Tom: And if we’re not understanding that, if we’re not taking heed—believing this first book of the Bible, I don’t know how you put together the rest of it. Which is why we’re in this. We’re going through Genesis.
Dave: Then we become the authors of scripture, and we decide what is true and what is not and what we like, and then we’ll accept that part of it. No, you have to take it as a package, and we’ve mentioned that before.
Tom: Right. Picking up with verse 9—again, we’re looking at the consequences of the first sin committed by mankind: “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?”
Now, that’s curious. God knew where they were.
Dave: Of course.
Tom: So this was for them, not for Him.
Dave: Yeah. “Adam, where are you? You’re hiding. Why? What’s the problem, Adam? Tell me about it.” We have to confess our sins. We’ve got to admit what went wrong, and why.
Tom: Yeah, and, picking up with verse 10, “…and he said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Here are two reactions that had never taken place in Adam’s heart with regard to God prior to sin. Fear. Recognizing…I mean, he was always naked. Why now is this a problem?
Dave: Well, it goes beyond physical nakedness. The scripture says, “All things are naked and opened before the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.”
Dave: “Thou, God, seest me.” God knows everything about me. He can look right into my heart. But there would be no concern about that if there wasn’t something wrong with my heart.
Tom: Right. It never happened before.
Tom: He was always in that state. God saw his heart. But everything he did then, up to that point, pleased God.
Dave: Right. Now Adam recognizes that there’s something wrong.
Tom: Verse 11: “And He said [that is, God], Who told thee that thou was naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat?” Dave, we’re just about out of time, but it’s interesting that God gives questions here that He already knows the answers to. Why is that?
Dave: Because we have to admit it. He knows everything about us, and with the very question He’s letting Adam know that He knows. He’s eliciting a response from Adam. A confession. Acknowledgment of his sin.
Tom: Dave, we’re just about out of time. What we want to do as we continue to go through these scriptures in Genesis is identify not just the problem but the consequences of the problem at the beginning, because if we don't, as we said (I know we’re repeating ourselves here,) but if we don’t understand the problem, and the solution….
Tom: The incredible solution that God brings is not going to make sense to us. And even if we have an idea of it, we want to understand it well enough that we can explain and share it with others that they might know the love of God, what He’s done, and that they might respond to it.