Fig Leaves

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What did Adam and Eve do first after they disobeyed God?  According to the account provided in Genesis 3:7, they made themselves aprons of fig leaves because they realized they were naked.  It is interesting that in the last verse of chapter two, the writer points out, “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.”  They lived together without clothes and felt no shame.  Yet as soon as they ate of the forbidden fruit, they sought something to hide behind.

Evidently, their sin brought embarrassment, shame, and guilt. Adam did not want to be seen by Eve, nor Eve by Adam.  So they made aprons of fig leaves. The only variety of tree that we know for sure that was in the Garden of Eden, other than the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, was the fig tree. When we sin and want to hide, there is always something available to make a covering to hide behind. We say, “It’s all right to see my outer apron, but not me as I really am.” For Adam and Eve, this act was the unspoken admission that things were not all right on the inside. A sense of guilt and shame had driven out the feeling of innocence.

The feeling of Adam and Eve is no different than the feeling of people today who do not follow the principles God has given us to live by.  We may not use actual fig leaves, but we find their counterparts to serve the same purpose in our world.  We hide behind our fig leaf aprons and say, “See these, but don’t see me. Don’t see what what’s underneath. Don’t see what’s inside.”

  1. The leaves of possessions. Many people spend their lives pursuing possessions. The pursuit goes on until the possessions possess them. It may be the nicest home, a status car, the right label on clothing, or anything else we believe will make a statement about perceived success.May I suggest some fig leaves we use to hide behind?
  2. The leaves of pleasure and entertainment. The Declaration of Independence declares that we have an inalienable right to “the pursuit of happiness.” Our generation has interpreted this to be a pursuit of pleasure – an “if it feels good do it” attitude prevails. We submerge ourselves in all types pleasure and entertainment as efforts to hide from nagging guilt.
  3. The leaves of alcohol and drugs. These mind-altering substances seem to let us hide from who we are. Their impact is at best temporary. When reality surfaces, the situation is worse than before.
  4. The leaves of religion. Religion that is not Christ-centered is little more than an apron of fig leaves.  Profession without possession is like a cloud without rain. In a Gallup Poll, 98% said they believed in God, but only about half were affiliated with a church. A much smaller number regularly attended worship. A faith that does not address the inner relationship with God is merely a covering of fig leaves. If there is no repentance and forgiveness, there is no adequate covering for sin.

Are you trying, like Adam and Eve, to cover yourself and hide your sin? Are you hoping to hide behind fig leaves? Revelation 6:16 speaks of people who seek to hide from God: “And (they) said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.’” 

~ Brother Roy

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