Insights: Sewing Fig Leaves

Authors and comedians have made many jokes and cartoons regarding the fig leaves of Adam and Eve. Most people know the fig leaves did not please the Lord, but very few people understand why they did not please Him. How should we understand what God recorded regarding the fig leaves in Genesis 3? Moses recorded the context for us in Genesis.  He wrote,

6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. (Gen 3:6-7 NKJ)

When they ate of the fruit (Gen. 3:6), their eyes were opened and “they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.” The word covering means loincloth, belt, or girdle.  The idea is that it only covered up a portion of the body. It only covered up was different between Adam and the woman (Eve).  They tried to cover up what they saw was different.

That is what people do. They see something is different from others and they make an issue of that. That is what I do.  I see what is different about me and others, so I compare, judge and deal with the differences, but I often totally miss what God intended.

Adam never asked God what he should do. He never humbled himself before God to understand the godly response to his own sin. It was not until God intervened and took the right action (Gen. 3:10ff).

What was the right action? Adam was responsible for the sin (1 Tim. 2:14). He sinned against our holy God. Sin against holy God required the death of the one who sinned, but because of the sin nature now in Adam, he was not worthy to die for even his own sin.  The sacrifice, or mediator, had to be equal with both man and God.  The only mediator that could qualify could be Jesus. Paul wrote, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus.” (1Ti 2:5 NKJ)

God demonstrated that a sacrifice had to take place, which He performed.  Moses wrote, “Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21 NKJ) When God made the tunics of skin, He demonstrated to Adam and Eve that the shedding of blood was required for sin. Upon God’s work of shedding of blood, He would then “clothe” Adam and Eve. The word for “clothe” refers to a long shirt-like garment. In other words it covered most of their bodies, rather than just the physical differences. The reason the whole body was “clothed” was because the whole body had the sin nature and that had to be covered. Fig leaves did not cover the body, which contained the sin nature. The issue is not differences between men and women, but “covering” the sin nature in the “presence of God.”

Are you totally covered by the blood of the Lamb? Do you show that by modesty in your dress? Do you realize that exposure of the human body is a symbol of careless flaunting of the sin nature before God? A Christian does not need to wear a burka. However, the Christian, both men and women, ought to be mindful of covering in respect to the holiness of God.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s