Genesis 3:21

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
 Genesis 3:21
This morning, we jogged by fields of vibrant wildflowers, a patch of Iowa soil clothed more beautifully than King Solomon in all his glory. Awestruck, I thought about the greatness of our Creator God who paints majesty on a single petal. I thought about the first pages of God’s big story, how in the beginning, God hung the sun, moon and planets in space, numbered stars in the galaxies and called them by name. He filled land, sky, and sea with creatures beyond what our minds can imagine. He decorated the depths with coral reefs, clothed the earth in flowers, counted every grain of sand. From dust, God created man and woman in His image, breathed life into them and blessed them.
In this paradise, God gave every tree of the garden for Adam and Eve to eat, with one exception. God told them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or they would die.
Enter the serpent, asking questions, casting doubt. Did God actually say that? You won’t really die. God knows that when you eat this fruit your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.
You will be like God.
Unable to resist temptation, Eve took a bite. She offered it to her husband beside her, and Adam also ate. In that fateful fall, their eyes opened to their nakedness, to their sin; and they hid in shame.
We know this story by heart, recognize the rhythms of it in ourselves from our earliest memories. Like Adam and Eve, we want to live by our own rules, feed selfish appetites, be our own gods. We sin, we feel the shame of it, and we hide.
But we cannot hide from God. The psalmist writes, ‘If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the place of the dead, you are there. If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me. If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me.’
God sees us in our hiding, just as He saw Jonah on the ship to Tarshish, just as He saw Adam and Eve cowering behind the trees. Seeing us, He calls to us and He covers our nakedness and shame. Instead of shedding the blood of animals to make garments of skins, God sends His Son to shed His blood. By this grace, we are saved through faith. Our sins are forgiven, we are washed clean, and we are clothed, covered, in the perfect righteousness of Christ.  
Knowing this perfect forgiveness and grace, we are called to love others as Jesus has loved us. Peter writes, ‘Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.’ Out of our deep gratitude, we can cover the sins of others with love and become stewards of God’s grace.
Rebecca Janni | Author

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