Genesis 3:15 — “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” [ESV]
Naked of God…
And what are the consequences of their disobedience? Are their eyes opened? Yes, their eyes are opened; but, alas! It is only to see their own nakedness. For we are told (verse 7) that, “the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Naked of God, naked of every thing that was holy and good, and destitute of the divine image, which they before enjoyed. They might rightly now be termed Ichabod; for the glory of the Lord departed from them. O how low did these sons of the morning then fall! Out of God, into themselves; from being partakers of the divine nature, into the nature of the devil and the beast. Well, therefore, might they know that they were naked, not only in body, but in soul.
And how do they behave now they are naked? Do they flee to God for pardon? Do they seek to God for a robe to cove their nakedness? No, they were now dead to God, and became earthly, sensual, devilish. Therefore, instead of applying to God for mercy, “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths,” or things to gird about them.
This is a lively representation of all natural man: We see that we are naked: we, in some measure, confess it; but, instead of looking up to God for succor, we patch up a righteousness of our own (as our first parents platted fig-leaves together) hoping to cover our nakedness by that. But our righteousness will not stand the severity of God’s judgment: it will do us no more service than the fig-leaves did Adam and Eve, that is, none at all.
For (verse 8), “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife,” notwithstanding their fig-leaves, “hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Hiding from God
They heard the [sound] of the Lord God, or the Word of the Lord God, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who is “the word that was with God, and the word that was God.” They heard him walking in the trees of the garden, in the cool of the day. A season, perhaps, when Adam and Eve used to go, in an especial manner, and offer up an evening sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. The cool of the day. Perhaps the sin was committed early in the morning, or at noon; but God would not come upon them immediately, he staid till the cool of the day. And if we would effectually reprove others, we should not do it when they are warmed with passion, but wait till the cool of the day.
But what an alteration is here! Instead of rejoicing at the voice of their beloved, instead of meeting him with open arms and enlarged hearts, as before, they now hide themselves in the trees of the garden. Alas, what a foolish attempt was this? Surely they must be naked, otherwise how could they think of hiding themselves from God? Where could they flee from his presence? But, by their fall, they had contracted an enmity against God: they now hated, and were afraid to converse with God their Maker. And is not this our case by nature? Assuredly it is. We labor to cover our nakedness with the fig-leaves of our own righteousness: We hide ourselves from God as long as we can, and will not come, and never should come, did not the Father prevent, draw, and sweetly constrain us by his grace, as he here prevented Adam.
Verse 9. “The Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”
“Where are you?”
“The Lord God called to the man” (for otherwise Adam would never have called to the Lord God) and said, “Adam, where are you? How is it that you have not come to pay your devotions as usual?” Christians, remember the Lord keeps an account when you fail coming to worship. Whenever therefore you are tempted to withhold your attendance, let each of you fancy you heard the Lord calling unto you, and saying, “O man, O woman, where are you?” It may be understood in another and better sense; “Adam, where are you?”
What a condition is your poor soul in? This is the first thing the Lord asks and convinces a sinner of. When he prevents and calls him effectually by his grace; he also calls him by name. For unless God speaks to us in particular, and we know where we are, how poor, how miserable, how blind, how naked, we shall never value the redemption wrought out for us by the death and obedience of the dear Lord Jesus. “Adam, where are you?”
Verse 10. “And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid.” See what cowards sin makes us. If we knew no sin, we should know no fear. “Because I was naked, and I hid myself.” Verse 11: “He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I,” your Maker and Law-giver, “commanded you not to eat?”
God knew very well that Adam was naked, and that he had eaten of the forbidden fruit, But God would know it from Adam’s own mouth. Thus God knows all our necessities before we ask, but yet insists upon our asking for his grace, and confessing our sins. For, by such acts, we acknowledge our dependence upon God, take shame to ourselves, and thereby give glory to his great name.
Verse 12. “The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’”
“And I ate”
Never was nature more lively delineated. See what pride Adam contracted by the fall! How unwilling he is to lay the blame upon, or take shame to himself. This answer is full of insolence towards God, enmity against his wife, and disingenuity in respect to himself.
For here he tacitly reflects upon God, “The woman whom you gave to be with me.” As much as to say, “If you had not given me that woman, I [would not have] eaten the forbidden fruit.”
Thus, when men sin, they lay the fault upon their passions; then [they] blame and reflect upon God for giving them those passions. Their language is, “The appetites that you gave us, they deceived us; and therefore we sinned against you.”
But, as God, notwithstanding, punished Adam for [listening] to the voice of his wife, so he will punish those who [listen] to the dictates of their corrupt inclinations. For God compels no man to sin. Adam might have withstood the solicitations of his wife, if he would. And so, if we look up to God, we should find grace to help in the time of need. The devil and our own hearts tempt, but they cannot force us to consent, without the concurrence of our own wills. So that our damnation is of ourselves, as it will evidently appear at the great day, notwithstanding all men’s present impudent replies against God.
As Adam speaks insolently in respect to God, so he speaks with enmity against his wife; “the woman,” or this woman, “she gave me.”
He lays all the fault upon her, and speaks of her with much contempt.
He does not say, my wife, my dear wife; but, THIS WOMAN.
Sin disunites the most united hearts: It is the bane of holy fellowship. Those who have been companions in sin here, if they die without repentance, will both hate and condemn one another hereafter. All damned souls are accusers of their brethren. Thus it is, in some degree, on this side of the grave.
“The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
The Unhumbled, Unregenerate Heart of Man
What a [deceitful] speech was here! He makes use of no less than fifteen words to excuse himself, and but one or two (in the original) to confess his fault, if it may be called a confession at all. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree;” here are fifteen words. “And I ate.” With what reluctance do these last words come out? How soon are they uttered?
“And I ate.”
But therefore it is with an unhumbled, unregenerate heart. It will be laying the fault upon the dearest friend in the world, nay, upon God himself, rather than take shame to itself. This pride we are all subject to by the fall; and, till our hearts are broken, and made contrite by the spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be always charging God foolishly.
“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment,” is the language of none but those, who, like David, are willing to confess their faults, and are truly sorry for their sins. This was not the case of Adam; his heart was not broken; and therefore he lays the fault of his disobedience upon his wife and God, and not upon himself. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
To be continued…