Chapter 27 God's Provided Covering

And he [Adam] said, I heard Thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself… The LORD God made coats of skins, and clothed them (Genesis 3:10,21).

The garden of Eden was made the beautiful home of God’s masterpiece—man, made in God’s own image and after His likeness. He must have been, of necessity, a most glorious creature in his primitive state and therefore in a very happy frame. What his original covering was we are not told, but it may well have been a garment of light—an outward expression of that unmixed light which God set up in his soul. There was no impurity to be seen without. He shone most brightly in the image of his Maker, and God was with him. He was made universal lord and emperor over the whole world. There was perfect tranquility within his breast, and perfect calm without.

God gave the man a wife as a helpmeet, built out of a part of man himself. The happy pair lived in perfect unity. They knew no shame. Though they were naked, yet there were no blushes on their faces. Sin, the seed of shame, had not yet been sown. Their lives were lived in pure delight and unchallenged pleasure. And they were immortal. Death there was not.

The Shame of Nakedness

Man was the cause of his own ruin. God had made him upright, but he threw himself down. Innocence was the robe of glory which God put on these first parents, but together they turned that glory into shame. It is a sight to cause the deepest lamentation. They were like a stately building in ruins, lying in ashes.

There had been no darkness in their minds, no rebellion in their wills, no disorder in their affections. But now the glory was departed. The crown of perfect manhood and womanhood had fallen from their heads. Sin now brought to Adam and Eve a consciousness of nakedness and a sense of shame. They were now stripped bare of all that had once shone gloriously in them. Countless evils were to be inherited by their progeny: thus Adam and Eve made for themselves, and for all the human family which was to spring from them, a plethora of sorrows. So now they bowed their heads in shame. They were naked indeed—naked of every good God had given them.

Blushing to see the light of day, and fearful now of God’s holy presence, they sought concealment by hiding, and made for themselves a silly contrivance to cover themselves. From that guilty pair has come to all men a tendency to cover up sin by self-deceit. That tendency is as natural to sinful man as it is for a fish to swim in water or for a bird to fly in the air.

The Clothing of God

The fall of man did not catch God by surprise. He did not have to look around for a remedy. The contingency plan to redeem was already settled in God’s mind from time eternal. This plan was, therefore, fully accomplished though it would need to be worked out in time. It was first given in promises and pictures and finally in the reality of Calvary’s cross with the sacrificial and substitutionary death of His beloved and eternal Son.

God in mercy came to their relief. He supplied their need by making coats of skins with which to clothe them. Blood was shed to make that possible. Innocent animals were slain. But why? As man lived only on herbs before the flood of Genesis 9, animals were not slain for food. They died as a sacrifice to set forth in picture the Lamb that was slain on Calvary’s tree. “Without shedding of blood is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22). The skins were then taken from these offerings for sin and out of these God Himself fashioned clothing to cover the nakedness of the guilty pair.

Such was a picture of the Saviour’s righteousness in which all believing ones are enwrapped. It is thus they are made fit for Heaven and for God’s holy presence. They must be washed from their sins in the precious blood of Christ and clothed with His pure, spotless righteousness. “The righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe” (Romans 3:22). What more could be required?

Adam’s original robe of innocence was but natural and human. Our Lord’s is spiritual and divine. Adam’s robe was soon in tatters. Satan touched it and it crumbled. What God provides through His Son is an “everlasting righteousness”— a garment of beauty and glory which Satan cannot touch and which can never wear out. Happy the soul that can say, “He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).

I lift my heart to Thee, Saviour divine!
For Thou art all to me, and I am Thine.
Is there on earth a closer bond than this,
That “my Beloved’s mine, and I am His!”

To Thee, once bleeding Lamb, I all things owe,
All that I have, and all I know!
All that I have is now no longer mine,
And I am not my own: Lord, I am Thine!

I pray Thee, Saviour, keep me in Thy love,
Till Thou shalt come, or sleep shalt me remove
To that fair realm where sin and sorrow o’er,
Thou and Thine own are one forevermore!

C. E. Mudie