Can you imagine a relationship with someone who knows everything about you—good and bad? Every desire, dream, fear, ambition, and regret. Every thought and emotion. Every deed done by you and to you. Every wrinkle and blemish. Every defect and shortcoming. Every mistake and wrong-doing.
For most, the thought of that is unnerving. But what if you had nothing to hide?
That is exactly the relationship Adam and Eve had with God in the beginning. Adam and Eve walked before God with nothing to hide. Not even a hint of wanting to hide.
Now that is intimacy. To be completely known and have no embarrassment, no shame.
No wonder Satan wanted to destroy that relationship.
Something very wrong changed that day when God looked for Adam in the Garden.
God knew that they had disobeyed the one rule the Bible records—“You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
God also knew exactly where Adam and Eve were in the garden.
Yet, Adam and Eve tried to hide from God. Up until that moment they had a close and uninhibited relationship. They were naked before God until that day. They had hid nothing from God.
Everything changed when they realized their nakedness and hid when they heard God in the garden.
They became afraid. Why? Because they were naked? They had always been naked before God. Their fear went much deeper than that. They became aware of their nakedness and became ashamed.
Still, what made that different now?
The New Living Translation reveals this,
Adam and Eve did something that they didn’t want God to know about. However their act of disobedience did not cause their shame, but their enlightenment revealed something within them that brought shame upon themselves. They now felt repulsive, stained, and unworthy of a relationship with God.
Because they were not only naked physically but also relationally, the only way for them to keep their action from God, so they thought, was to hide. God, once the object of love and an intimate relationship now caused fear and shame.
They wanted God to approve of them. Now they thought He would disapprove. Had He not told them to stay away from this certain tree? And did they not do just the opposite?
Adam and Eve really had three choices at that moment.
- They could, without hesitation or fear, talk to God about their action. If they truly understood their relationship with Him, I think they would have talked to Him. If they could have seen their wrongdoing separate from their newfound identity, I think they would have confessed their action to God. Their motivation to talk to God would have come out of a desire to be in a right relationship with Him. However, their focus became on the shame of their nakedness.
- Adam and Eve could arrogantly stand before God without shame or embarrassment of their disobedience. We witness this kind of behavior all around us. People blatantly commit acts of disobedience in the face of God. I wonder why Adam and Eve didn’t respond this way? Is it because they really did know and walk with God before their rebellion? I think so. They had a pure love relationship with God. Satan is the one who rebelled against God with a defiant arrogance about his choice to disobey God. Interesting divergent paths that resulted. God sought to restore the relationship with Adam. As for Satan, God threw him out from heaven.
- Adam and Eve could choose to find a place to hide, which is what they chose to do. Something changed within them and the way they viewed, not only their relationship with God, but themselves. They experienced shame.
Which choice do you think leads to intimacy with God? The first one? Me too.
When I talk to God about my action, He is faithful to restore our relationship. The more I do this, the more I trust Him. The more I trust Him, the more intimate the relationship becomes.
Defiant disobedience nor attempting to hide our wrong-doing never leads to intimacy. But, when we honestly approach God out of a desire to be in a right relationship with Him, this leads to intimacy.
This blog is an excerpt from the book I am writing, Beyond Shame. By joining my email list today, you can receive the rough draft of each new chapter as I complete them.
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