Today’s reading: Genesis 3:6-8, 21-24
The moment Adam and Eve turned from God they tried to cover their nakedness with leaves. We do this still. Deep inside we realize we’re not as nice as we pretend, more angry than we admit, more insecure than we show. We are all secretly worshiping ourselves, but we hide that truth behind doing nice things, believing we’re mostly a good person, or going to church regularly.
But to Adam and Eve and to us God says “that’s not good enough.” God sees the leaves Adam and Eve made and in response clothes them in animal skins. God covers the shame and rebellion of Adam and Eve by shedding innocent blood – an animal who has done nothing wrong has to die.
And even then it’s not enough, because God kicks Adam and Eve out of the garden. The symbolism here is that humanity can no longer be in the direct presence of God. Our rebellion, what the Bible calls sin, has placed a wedge between us and Him.
This is important for us to understand: our over-inflated sense of moral goodness is not enough. All our attempts to be a “nice person” are just fig leaves covering up our nakedness. According to the Bible “good people” don’t go to heaven and “bad people” to hell ... ALL of humanity has been cast out of the garden. And just like innocent blood was shed for Adam and Eve’s sins, innocent blood will have to be shed for our sin too ...
Now what: Have you ever had a moment when you realized that no matter how good you are, it still wouldn’t be good enough to stand before a perfect God? It’s important for us to realize that our hope for salvation doesn’t come from us doing a bunch of good deeds. Spend some time acknowledging to God your own brokenness. If there is stuff in your life your ashamed of – something in your past, a current addiction, a specific struggle – spend time being honest about that before God.
When we admit our helplessness before God, He meets us in that moment and helps us. As you pray today, don’t get stuck in shame, guilt or inadequacy. Ask God to meet you in your sin and help you. God is not a vindictive parent or uncaring judge – He is a good, loving, concerned Father. Ask Him to give you the power and strength you need for today.
Want more? Romans 3:9-20
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