Genesis 3 v 20 -24: The Covering


Adam named his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all human beings. (v 20)

We discussed previously that Adam had been tasked with naming all the animals and birds having been given authority and dominion over them by God.  We saw that Adam in naming his wife Eve had been given authority over her but that he also recognised that she was significant both to him personally and to the future human race.  He had ultimate responsibility for her and he undertook to love and protect her as his helper, not his servant.  She was in no way regarded as inferior to him but a partner.

God then shows his grace and love for Adam and Eve in making more suitable clothes for them from some animal skins.  He covered them to protect them from their shame.   For this to happen something else had to die, God killed one of the animals to make clothing for them.  We see this as an early indication of God’s plan of redemption.  Jesus died so that we can be clothed in his righteousness and our shame of sin covered.

In Zechariah’s vision in Zechariah 3 v 3-5, Joshua was wearing filthy clothes, the Angel tells his attendants to remove Joshua’s filthy clothes and give him new clean ones saying:

I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear (v4)

Clothing is used many times throughout the Bible to symbolise favour, honour and status.  In Revelation 7 v 14 robes are washed white with the blood of the Lamb.   God showed here that despite their disobedience He still loved them and covered them with his love and protection.

He showed them forgiveness but there were further consequences of their actions;

Then the Lord God said “Now the man has become like one of us and has knowledge of what is good and what is bad.  He must not be allowed to take the fruit from the tree of life, eat it and live for ever”(v22)

They previously had free access to the tree of life, but now they had to be prevented from eating of it.  The consequence of their actions meant that they had to die as God said in Genesis 1 v 17.  The died spiritually but would also have to die physically too.

For sin pays its wage – death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6 v 23)

They were banished from the garden and instead of tending a beautiful fruitful garden, Adam was going to have to work hard to produce food from uncultivated land that was full of thorns and thistles (see v 18).

Not only that; they were to be prevented from trying to return.  God placed a guard with flaming swords to prevent anyone from coming near to the tree of life (v24)

The only way back was through the redemptive work of Jesus.

To those who win he victory I will give the right to eat the fruit of the tree of life that grows in the Garden of God. (Revelation 2 v 7)

His blood cleanses us;

Happy are those who wash their robes clean and so have the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life and to go through the gates into the city (Revelation 22 v 14)

But: The Bible ends with a further warning;

And if anyone takes anything away from the prophetic words of this book, God will take away from them their share of the fruit of the tree of life and of the Holy City, which are described in this book (Revelation 22 v 19)

How wonderful it is to see that God’s plan was in place right at the start.  There was no “crisis” because Adam and Eve had failed to obey, but God already had a redemption plan in place.  They had to learn to be obedient and to trust him – they could not do that without understanding the consequences and to learn not to listen to Satan’s lies.  It is a battle which we must work though (with his help) and then we will gain the promised reward.


All quotes from The Good News Bible



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