Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
At first it would seem Satan was right, the fruit was good to eat, and the fruit brought knowledge of good and evil. Indeed after eating the fruit Adam and Eve did gain the knowledge of good and evil. And there was no immediate evidence death was upon either one of them. This is how it was with the first sin, and this is how it is with all sin. The bible says sin brings pleasure for a season (Hebrews 11:25) But then “…the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
Sin is a package deal and the second part of the package is inescapable. Lets have a look at the second part of Adam and Eve’s sin.
“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;” v. 7 After eating the forbidden fruit Adam and Eve became self conscious. Before their sin their focus was on the animals of the earth, on tending the garden, on each other, and on their relationship with God. After their sin their focus shifted to themselves. They became aware of, and embarrassed about their nakedness. God didn’t design us to be focused on ourselves. People who sin become self absorbed, and people who are self absorbed tend to be unhappy. God’s design for us is to put Him and other people before ourselves in life. Talk to someone who’s entangled in sin and you’ll find the conversation is all about him, or her. Like the self centered man who after talking at length about himself to a friend said, “Enough about me, let’s talk about you. Tell me–what do you think about me?”
Separation From God:
…and they hid from God among the trees of the garden. v. 8 Sin separates us from God. Adam and Eve had a wonderful relationship with God in His spectacular garden. Intimacy with Him, closeness with Him, regular communication with Him was a regular part of their lives. After their sin, all that changed. When they heard the sound of His coming they were filled with guilt and shame, so they hid themselves, from Him. Their sin affected their relationship with Him, and a relationship with Him is the most important relationship there is. Your sin and my sin will affect our relationship with Him in the same way.
The Blame Game:
The woman You put here with me… v. 12 Adam says. The serpent You put here with us… v. 13 Eve says. God first of all, You were the one who put this woman here with me, Adam was saying, and she did it, it was Eve’s fault. (Stedman says, “He took it like a man, he blamed his wife!”) God You were the one who put the serpent here, and it’s his fault, Eve said. The blame game, finger pointing. This is the first account of that game and its been played by every member of the human race ever since. Notice God is implicated here, the woman You put in my life, the serpent You put here. Whenever you or I blame someone for something we’re ultimately blaming our Father in heaven, for putting that person in our life.
Your Most Important Line of Communication:
You may have read about the fire that destroyed 11 homes in Ashland, Oregon last month. I happened to be running a division at that fire. One of our tactics was to use helicopters to drop water on the burning homes. When the helicopters began operating it was important to keep them from dropping water on one particular house, where firefighters were working inside. That’s because a helicopter water drop pushes fire in all directions, in dramatic fashion. This could cause serious injury or death to those fighting fire inside.
“Command from Oak Knoll Division,” I said on the radio, “direct the helicopters NOT to drop on the house directly across from 8106.”
Command responded, “Copy, send a helicopter to drop water directly on the house across from 8106.”
Of course this was exactly what I didn’t want. “Negative, negative,” I said, “DO NOT drop water on the house across from 8106. There are firefighters operating inside.”
“Command from Oak Knoll Division, DO NOT drop water on the house across from 8106.” I repeated my request.
* Still no response.
Just then a helicopter approaches the area and appears to be lining up for a drop on the house next door to the one we want it to avoid. Hoping that the pilot can see me I encourage him to drop on the house next door by pointing and nodding. (Yes, kind of ridiculous I know, but I didn’t have my radio on the helicopter pilot’s frequency.) He’s low over the house next door and things are looking good, but then, before I know it, he’s passed it. Suddenly it becomes obvious he’s setting up to drop on the house with the firefighters inside. In desperation I’m jumping up and down, waving my arms frantically, trying to communicate to the helicopter pilot not to drop on top of the firefighters. In the midst of all the chaos, a friend of mine, Tyler McCarty, who works for Oregon Department of Forestry, walks up to me just as calm as can be and says,
“Kurt, would you like me to tell that helicopter not to drop on that house?”
“YES!!!” I shout, “yes I would!”
Tyler, who’s already on the helicopter’s frequency, radios the request directly to the pilot. The helicopter flies off, and the firefighters operating inside are saved.
The point is I rarely speak to helicopter pilots because my Fire Department is primarily a structural fire department. My friend Tyler works for a Wildland Fire agency, he talks to helicopter pilots all the time. His radio is on their frequency, and communication is easy.
It’s the same with God. When we’re in constant communication with Him, our relationship is easy. When our prayers are rare, when our scripture reading is only occasional, when our church attendance is sporadic, our relationship with Him suffers. We find ourselves on a different frequency.
Like Adam and Eve before their original sin, focus on God, your family, and the work God has set before you. Avoid sin to avoid separation from God, self-centeredness, and the blame game. Keep your line of communication with God flowing,
Don’t hide from God.
Talk with Him in prayer.
Listen to Him by reading His word.
Fellowship with Him by attending a church that teaches through the entire Bible.
The day will come, when you’ll be glad you’re on His frequency.
* An Incident Commander at a fire like this is completely swamped with all types of communication including face to face, cell phone, and radio communication over multiple frequencies. Not receiving a response for awhile or misunderstanding a radio transmission is not at all uncommon for any fire department operating on a large scale incident.
I believe God’s hand was with the firefighters that day. Within a few minutes of the arrival of the first engine 11 homes were burning. Across the street another 30 homes were threatened. A man who lived across the street from the fire was quoted in the newspaper as saying, “I’m not a religious man, but I know a miracle when I see it.” I agree, that fire should have jumped the street and 30 or so more homes should have burned that day. (Damian Mann, Mail Tribune, Ashland Fire Likely Worst in 100 Years, August 26, 2010)