The First Attempted Clothing – By Self Help
How sad the words of Genesis 3:7: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.” This marked the first feeble attempt at clothing manufactured by two desperate human beings who had taken the tempting path of experimentation with sin. The action which was supposed to enrich their existence, instead caused feelings of shame, guilt, fear, and remorse. To this day, sin’s results remain unchanged.
Adam and Eve immediately began to feverishly manufacture, with their own hands, “aprons,” hoping against hope that their best might be enough to hide them from the all-seeing eyes of the Supreme Being to Whom they were both accountable. Sadly, the function and fit of this inadequate apron was only good enough for human eyes, and for a very limited time at best. The fig leaf fabric, while lively looking and adequately sized for human hands to work with, soon wilted, shrunk, and dissipated when worn.
Countless sinners since then have tried in vain to piece together bits of religion and morality as a cover for their own sinfulness. All the while, they grapple with inner doubts as to whether self-help is adequate for acceptance with God. Let us learn the spiritual truth that no bloodless fabrication of nature will stand the inevitable test of time and eternity.
The First Accepted Clothing – By Grace You are Saved
What a wonderful contrasting picture is provided in Genesis 3:21: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” This was not a human attempt, but a gracious covering from God, provided in response to Adam’s faith expressed in the previous verse, “And Adam called his wife’s name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.” This garment had perfect function! It was not a flimsy apron but the word used is “coats,” which at its root means “to cover” or “to hide.” Such is the adequacy of the spiritual covering offered through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary. It solves the positional problem of our natural, sinful standing in Adam by hiding us in Christ. What a covering!
The very fabric that God chose was of incomparable value and durability. To provide the first adequate clothing, God shed the first blood, and the first substitute died in order to meet the claims of righteousness. What a cost! Again, we turn to the death of Christ on the Cross for the sin of the human race, and we learn that all the requirements of God relative to sin with its consequential death have been graciously and completely met to His satisfaction and delight.
The remaining factor to consider is the fit of the garment. God saw to that as well. The text says He “clothed them.” Adam and Eve had only to acknowledge their individual need, and accept or reject the provision by grace. What will you do with the salvation garment God has provided by grace, through Christ, for you? “For by grace are ye saved though faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph 2:8-9, KJV).