(Republished with permission from Press Service International, for Christian Today Australia)
In the midst of their shame, fear and sin, He covered them. In the midst of their suffering and judgement, He covered them. Genesis 3 records the well known story of Adam and Eve disobeying God and being banished from the Garden of Eden. Reading this story again, I find myself struck by how God covered them. God is merciful and kind, even as He allows us to face the consequences of our decisions.
. . .
A covering for nakedness
In the garden of Eden, Eve is tempted by the serpent. She eats forbidden fruit, gives some to Adam and this act of disobedience to God releases sin and its consequences into the world.
Adam and Eve are banished from Eden, no longer able to walk with God in the unbridled intimacy they had previously enjoyed. They are also made aware of their nakedness and attempt to cover themselves with garments made from leaves.
Here they stand; their sin laid bare, their shame exposed, the consequence of their actions an unending desert of suffering and separation before them. In the midst of this nakedness, God covers them. The leaves they placed over themselves could not last long, so God gives them garments of animal skin.
Even in their nakedness, God loved them. Even in their nakedness, He was with them. Though sin would have its consequence on the relationship between man and God, God always had a plan for salvation. Man would not remain exiled forever.
. . .
A covering for sin
Sin requires its payment. In the Old Testament, the blood of animals was used for atonement. In the New Testament, we see that Jesus paid that price once and for all.
“And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God…” (Hebrews chapter 10, verses 11-12)
From the very beginning, God had a way for our sins to be covered. He clothed Adam and Eve with garments of skin, and He clothes us today in the righteousness of Christ so that if we accept this free gift, we can stand holy before Him.
I am encouraged that even in my constant sinning and falling, God continues to place that covering of His grace over me. He wipes my sins away over and over again, covering me with His own righteousness so that I can stay in the joy of His presence.
. . .
Under God’s wings
God not only covers us with grace, mercy and righteousness; He is our covering of peace, protection and comfort. Psalm chapter 91 says this:
“He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure.
His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall.”
(Psalm chapter 91, verse 4)
This passage is greatly encouraging to me as it reminds me of God’s personal, all-encompassing love. He is not just a God who judges and rules, but is a personal God; One who knows our innermost being, cares for our needs, and wants the best for us.
God is there to lift us up on our celebrations, and His wings protect, shelter and comfort us. I remember so many times in my life when God protected me, and there are probably many more moments in my life when I was simply unaware of His protection.
Knowing that God always has our back gives us a peace in every day and every circumstance.
“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress;
I shall not be greatly shaken.”
(Psalm chapter 62, verse 2)
. . .
A prayer of thanksgiving
Lord, thank you for covering me with Your fullness,
Your Spirit reminds me I’m beautiful, loved.
Thank you for covering me with your grace,
For the payment of sin that You made on the cross.
Thank you for giving me peace, joy and comfort,
The shelter I find in Your faithful embrace.
Thank you for bringing me into Your house,
And for giving me life with You now and always.