They were probably so ashamed and embarrassed, they just couldn’t bear to be found by the Lord in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve had enjoyed such pure, intimate fellowship with Him, and then it happened. A simple command to refrain from eating the fruit of a certain tree was too much temptation for them, and they botched up the whole picture of a perfect life. Suddenly, after eating the forbidden fruit, they realized they were naked. That was a new and awful feeling! And what was this dark heaviness they felt inside, as they heard the Lord walking toward them? Satan had heaped the weight of guilt on their hearts, and they could not crawl out from under it. Even the beauty of Paradise could not lighten their load of guilt. Nothing beautiful or fragrant or scrumptious or luxurious could remove their guilt. Even the most melodious bird song did not comfort them.
So they hid. They covered themselves the best they could. They cowered in a corner of the Garden, probably praying the Lord would give up trying to find them and busy Himself in another part of Paradise that day. He didn’t. The Lord isn’t afraid of sin, and He wasn’t about to walk away from theirs. He loved them both too much to ignore the mess they’d created.
Oh, how painful separation from the Father is! David said it so well in Psalm 51:11 (NLT), Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. A contemporary Adam and Eve might say it like the Message translation reads, soak me in Your laundry, and I’ll come out clean…don’t throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me. Remember, it was God’s breath that brought Adam to life, and He is still breathing life into our sin-stained hearts.
Even though Adam and Eve suffered consequences for disobeying the Lord, He still extended mercy and grace to them. Although they could no longer live in the Garden, the Lord never stopped watching over them and caring for them. The fig leaves they plastered on themselves to cover their nakedness probably didn’t last through the first gentle breeze that blew across them. The Lord provided more durable coverings with animal skins, symbolic of the body and blood of Jesus. He mercifully took care of their wardrobe failure.
The Lord loved Adam and Eve. He loved them before their sin, through their sin, and after their sin. He could handle it. If you are buried under a pile of guilt and shame, the Lord will keep walking toward you because He loves you. Your sin does not keep Him away. He can handle it. He wants to “soak you in His laundry so you come out clean.” I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God's love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39 NLT).
© 2020, Chris Werre