fig leaves

Adam and Eve’s response to their sin was to feel shame and to hide. (Gen 3) Their attempt to hide their shame by dressing themselves in fig leaves would have been amusing, had it not been so pathetic. Most of us are far too sophisticated to use fig leaves, but the results of refusing to be honest about our sin are just as pathetic and temporary as trying make clothes out of leaves. We cover ourselves in a false façade, an image of who we wish we were, or rationalization of why our sin is OK. We hide what we don’t want the world to know or see and then live with the fear that our shame and weakness may be revealed.

God holds them accountable by confronting them with the question “What have you done?” (Gen 3:13)  He wanted them to have eternal life in his presence, but their eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil made them accountable for their choices. Eve’s response was to blame the serpent; Adam blamed Eve; neither took responsibility for their intentional choice to disobey. The Bible is clear. Our response to our sin has to be to deal with it in God’s presence, to agree with God that our behavior is sin, and to ask his forgiveness. Only then is the shame, and the need for fig leaves, removed.

 1 John 1:9  If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Psalm 103:12   as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

How would the Bible have unfolded differently if Adam and Eve had chosen confession and repentance, rather than hiding behind bushes in their fig leaf outfits? God took the initiative to “cover” their sin, just as he does ours. An animal had to die – a blood sacrifice – to provide them what they needed to put their sin in their past. But the consequences remained. They left Eden, wearing animal skins, never to return. Satan’s influence in their lives cost them the blessings God wanted to share with them, but God continued to watch over them and love them.

I always told my boys, “If you’re in trouble, I better hear it from you before I hear it from someone else.” Only after they were honest with me about their behavior could I can stand with them and guide them as they faced their accusers. Satan is given several descriptive titles in the Bible. One is the “Father of Lies” (John 8:44); another is “The Accuser” (Rev 12:10). Satan lies to us to encourage us to disobey God and then tattles on us endlessly to God. Repentance removes his ability to accuse you to your Father once you and your Father have handled it. Unless we repent and handle our sin with God, we stand alone to face our accuser.

Every one of us has sin. What have you done with yours? What has your sin cost you? God utterly, unconditionally loves you, but he will not tolerate your sin. God’s forgiveness is complete, but we have to be honest with him about our sin. He is not fooled by your fig leaves or curious as to your hiding place. Agree with him about your choices, and allow him to forgive you and redeem your sin so that it can no longer bring you shame. He will cast it away, as far as the east is from the west, and your accuser will not be able to say a word.

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