I have heard the concept of being “clothed in righteousness” most of my life. And, I have understood for a long time that Christ’s sacrifice on the cross allows me to be righteous and holy despite my sin. However, I think you may be similar to me in that as I go about my daily life I don’t necessarily “get” the magnitude of what this means.
I recently started a new daily devotional about why we hide (Welch, 2021). The very first day focused on the texts from Genesis 1-3. I was particularly taken aback reading 3:21, which states, “ And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Just as a recap, this is the part of the Genesis story following the fall, when God has approached the now shame-filled Adam and Eve who have made a sorry attempt at covering their shame with a couple of flimsy fig leaves. What struck me about this verse in particular was who was doing the action. God, not Adam and Eve, made garments suitable for covering their shame.
In my devotional, Welch (2021) goes on to emphasize that only God can cover our inadequacies, our shame, and our sin. While the story is only beginning in Genesis, as believers, we know that Christ’s death and resurrection covered us completely, fully, and without any effort on our part. My life has often been about hiding. I have lots of fig leaves: doing something wrong and hoping no one notices, keeping silent so that no one can judge me, and working hard to keep everyone focused on what I can do rather than what I can’t.
Reading this verse put it into perspective for me. Think of it this way. Imagine God, looking at Adam and Eve, pathetic and afraid covered by their flimsy and inadequate fig leaves. Imagine his anger at their disobedience. Imagine his disappointment in their lack of trust. Imagine his sadness that they must now live in a fallen world. What is his response? He makes them adequate clothing. Granted they still had to suffer the consequences, but despite that God saw them and had mercy on them.
We put a lot of fig leaves on in this life. I have to admit as a woman who has spent more years in school than out, I have tried to weave some pretty fancy fig outfits. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a bad thing to achieve, but only if done with the purpose of praising and serving God. In the end, God’s greatest desire is for us to be in a relationship with him, to honor and worship him, and praise him for his unending grace and mercy.
Do you have any fig leaves in your life? What do they look like and what are you trying to hide?
Contributed by Liz Hunt
Welch, E.T. (2021). A small book about why we hide. New Growth Press. ISBN: 978-1-64507-141-9