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Seeds of the Kingdom

Clothing From God

by Kent Bandy

The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.
Genesis 3:21, NIV

I really appreciated Murray Dixon’s recent seed, ‘Clothed in Glory’ about how God wants to clothe us. It made me think of Genesis 3:21, ‘The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them’. So often when we ‘adorn’ ourselves, we do it in a way to make ourselves look good. While there are a few exceptions, for the most part we want to dress to look good, or at least to look acceptable.

I have three daughters. Clothes are important in our home. Fashion, colour, style, fit, and warmth this time of year in Canadian winters, are all submitted to the ‘modest is hottest’ slogan we use to filter out what doesn’t work for us. We wear clothes every day – that’s a good thing!

Clothing first appears in Genesis in the Bible. When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, their sin separated them from God. The result of being separated from God by their sin is that they felt afraid. Why fear? Fear is a lack of security. God was their security, so when they sinned and were separated from him, they became afraid – or insecure. Their first act then was to respond out of fear and cover themselves. They covered up. They clothed themselves with fig leaves.

Now most of us believe that our God can do anything, so when Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves, why didn’t God bless the fig leaves so that they wouldn’t wear out? He made the Israelites sandals last for 40 years in the desert, why not make the fig leaves last? It’s critical to note this: If God blessed the fig leaves and made them last, He would have been blessing Adam and Eve’s efforts to cover themselves. Did you catch that? God would have blessed Adam and Eve hiding their nakedness in fear and shame. God is love. He doesn’t bless our efforts to hide. In fact, He is light; in Him there is no darkness at all – so He brings things into the light so He can set us free and heal us.

The verse at the beginning of today’s seeds holds a critical key for us. When God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve He would have had to make them from the skin of an animal. So there was a loss of life, or the sacrifice of a life, and shedding of the animal’s blood, in order to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness. In that critical moment, God doesn’t bless Adam and Eve’s effort to cover themselves, He provides a covering for them. It’s as if He is saying, “You cannot cover your own sin. I’m the only one who can provide a covering for your sin.”

We try to clothe ourselves with all kinds of ‘adornment’. It’s ‘natural’. But, while it’s our nature, it’s not God’s nature. In order for His robes of righteousness to cover us, we have to let Him cover our sin. He’s provided the sacrifice. Jesus gave His life to cover our sin. His blood seals the covenant between us and God. The missing key? Oh that’s just the little change of clothing where we trade in our dirty-rags-efforts to cover up, and let Him cover us.

Do you find yourself hiding and trying to cover up the messy parts of your life? Yes, it’s normal for humans. Have you also noticed how normal hiding and covering ourselves hurts our relationships – including between us and God? While it’s normal, I’m thankful that there is nothing ‘normal’ about our God and how He redeems us.

Prayer: Thank You, Father, for providing the covering for my sin. I confess that I’ve tried to cover myself so many times. It’s not working. I’m making a bigger mess. I surrender to You. Please forgive me for hiding. Show me where I’m covering up, and the impact it’s having, so I can let You set me free. I need You to cover me and I want to do this Your way. Amen.

Kent Bandy is the director of Ellel Ministries Canada, Ontario. A degree in theology led to full-time pastoral ministry in 1994, but there he discovered that God’s people were desperately struggling and he couldn’t help them and he began to cry out to the Lord for real keys to help real people. After an Ellel conference in 1998 and a modular school at his church in 2001, his life began to change. In 2005 he and his wife Karen spoke out what God had put in their hearts regarding establishing a place for healing and restoration, they then took part in NETS training and Kent and Karen joined Ellel Ministries and took on the leadership of Ellel Ministries Canada, Ontario.

 

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