I Was Just Thinking About – NAKED AND AFRAID.
Many years ago, a program on the television was: The Naked City (based on life in New York City). It began by stating: “There are 8-million stories in The Naked City – this is just one of them.” The other day I posted a Blog about “Little Boxes” that had application to urban housing and the unknown individuals who live in those houses (or tenements; lofts; etc.). Do we take time to seek out these people? Do we care about who they are or what needs they have?
When we read the opening Chapters of Genesis, we find that Adam and Eve were naked and unafraid in the Garden of Eden. The following truths were operative and functional: (1) God created a world out of nothing; (2) God saw that His creation was very good; (3) The Garden of Eden was part of that Creation; (4) God decided to create a man who would tend that Garden; (5) God determined it was not good for man to be alone and created a woman to be his helper; (6) God would come to the Garden every evening to have fellowship with the man/woman He created; (7) God wanted them to love Him unconditionally and established one requirement for them – “Do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the Garden.
When reading Genesis 1 and 2, it fills one with wonderment about perfection and all of what that implies. It also reveals that God knows all there is to know about everyone and everything. However, one day when God comes to the Garden to fellowship with Adam and Eve, they are not present and eager to meet with Him. The serpent has entered the Garden and deceived Eve who disobeys God’s requirement, and in turn appeals to entice Adam to do likewise. Even though God knows everything at all times, the first question God asks is in the Garden of Eden. It occurs following the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Prior to their disobedience, they would enjoy fellowship with God in the cool of the evening. After they had disobeyed, the anticipation of fellowship with God was altered and their eagerness was now fear. They had a sense of guilt and shame and decided they should hide themselves from the presence of God. Genesis 3:8-9 indicates: “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him: Where are you?” Just pause and think about how piercing these words were for them both - Where are you? God knew exactly where they were and what they had done that caused them to want to hide from Him. Their answer is that they were naked and should not appear in that manner to come before anyone. They tried to cover as much of their nakedness as they could with leaves. Before God, they were admitting to being naked and afraid. Two additional questions by God quickly follow in Genesis 3:11, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
There is an interesting characteristic of God that is shared in Second Chronicles 16:7-10. It is a review of the victories Judah has gained when they relied on the Lord. Verse 9 paints a changing picture for Judah: “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward Him. You have done foolishly in this, for from now on you will have wars.” It is always a miscalculation for anyone to think they can get by with disobedience and think that God will not know it.
In Matthew 12, Jesus reminds us all that a tree is known by the fruit it yields. He then makes this statement in verses 36-37, “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” This is just one area mentioned. Others would include whether or not one has followed and served Him faithfully. It should remind us that we need to take a serious God seriously. We need to be equally serious to His Word and our compliance with it. Before a Holy God we will one day appear before Him naked! Will you be afraid or eager to be in His presence?
Prayerfully – consider these things with me.