September 03, 2010

Naked Before God

Genesis 3:10-24

[Adam] answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Genesis 3:10


Have you ever had a dream about being undressed in a public place? I have. In my dream I wanted to hide myself, as Adam did when he discovered he was naked before God. But Adam’s shame was not merely physical—it was deeply spiritual.

Adam realized that by his sin he had broken the bond with God that was sustained in his daily walk with him. This time, when God walked in the garden, Adam was afraid and hid from God. He knew that God’s penetrating gaze would see through to his guilt and failure.

When God confronted Adam with his sin, he refused to accept responsibility and tried to excuse himself by blaming Eve. In fact, Adam also tried to pass the blame along to God by saying, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree.” Then Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent. Once fellowship is broken by sin, the “blame game” begins.

We do the same, don’t we? We blame others for our own failures. Children learn that early in life: “I didn’t do it. Jimmy did.”

We do not like others to see us as we really are.

But escape from our shame is possible only when we come out of the shadows and stand in the light of God’s forgiving love and grace.

Lord, I am ashamed to reveal myself to you. Yet you know me as I really am. You know my sinfulness. Forgive me and help me to enjoy fellowship with you and my neighbor. Amen.

About the author — Adrian A. Helleman

Dr. Adrian Helleman served as a pastor in British Columbia before being called to serve as a missionary-teacher in the Philippines. He and his wife, Wendy, later taught philosophy at Moscow State University in Russia, and then philosophy and theology at the University of Jos in Nigeria. They have also lectured in Canada, the United States, South Africa, and Tanzania. They have three children and three grandchildren.

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