Thoroughly Equipped: The Covering

Our reading today includes Genesis 3:1-4:26, Matthew 2:13-36, Psalm 2:1-12, and Proverbs 1:7-9.

In today’s reading we move from the beauty of creation to the tragedy of the fall.

How quickly things change.

Adam and Eve were supreme in the garden but once their pride was pricked by Satan’s simple question, the process of the fall was in place.  “Did God really say…”  (Genesis 3:1) How many tragic falls have subsequently occurred with that same little question.  Did God really say to remain pure?  Did God really say to be faithful?  Did God really say not to gossip?  The questions go on and on.  The answer is in His Word.  Find out what God really did say and stick with that truth.  I do warn you not to separate single verses from its context, but I also encourage you to find out for yourself what God did really say.

Adam and Eve tried their own methods of covering their nakedness, their shame.  They tried to cover it up with the insufficient covering of fig leaves. There are many references to sitting under a fig tree throughout the Bible.  According to the NIV study Bible, the covering of a fig tree is a “proverbial picture of peace, security, and contentment”.  Adam and Eve were trying desperately to cover up their sin and to go back to the peace, security, and contentment they had experienced before the fall.  But, as is still the truth today, our own efforts in this arena will never achieve what our hearts long for.  But, even in their fallen state, God did not leave Adam and Eve in their sin, nor in their own insufficient covering.

The tragedy of the fall is followed immediately by the gracious, all-sufficient covering of God the Father.

After Adam and Eve sinned, the Lord sought them out and said, “Where are you?”  Of course He knew where they were, but they needed to be aware of where they had ended up. The Lord Himself made clothes for them to cover their shame.  This was foreshadowing of the ultimate covering that would come … the covering of the Blood of Jesus.

It is important to note that the covering God provided was not mere fig leaves.  His covering was animal skin.  It was protective, it was warm, it truly covered their nakedness and was not easily moved by the outward elements.  This was the first recorded sacrifice.  This system of shedding the blood of an animal to cover sin began with the first sin.  God did not wait to begin His plan of redemption.  This plan of sacrifice was set in place and would be established for a season until the Ultimate Plan of the Ultimate Sacrifice came through His Son, Jesus.

The number symbolism in scripture is always fascinating to me and the number 7 is always symbolic of completion and perfection.  It is interesting and revealing to note that the span of the covering up of sin to the first prophesy of the true, all-sufficient covering to come is in a mere 7 verses.  Seven verses reveal the sin, the punishment, the removing of the cover up and the prophetic revelation of the divine sin covering to come.  The very first prophesy of the coming Savior is found in Genesis 3: 15, the seventh verse from God’s question, “Where are you?”

So the Lord God said to the serpent [Satan, who had tricked Eve], ‘Because you have done this, ‘Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals!  You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.  [Here comes the first prophesy!]  And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he [Eve’s future offspring, Jesus!] will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.’”                                            

                                                                      (Genesis 3: 14; author emphasis added)

You see, Jesus would use His anointed feet to spiritually stomp Satan’s headship, forever giving victory to all who believe!

And so I must ask: Where are you?  Stop to think about it for a moment.  Do you even know?  God does.  If you are not sure, ask Him.  He may reveal some things that you didn’t realize about yourself.  But with that realization, He will also offer you the perfect, holy covering.

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