In the last post I showed how Adam and Eve were given the command by God that they were to worship and obey, and showing how these words are used of the Levites, God’s ministers. Well, Adam and Eve have some other similarities with the Levites.
When Adam and Eve find out they are naked after their sin, they are embarrassed, and they try and cover up their own sin by their own power, the suit of fig leaves. God then “finds out” they sinned, he punishes them, Adam names his wife Eve (which is huge by the way, the first display of faith in the Bible), then God clothes them with skin from an animal. This is huge for two reasons, first it shows that something had to die to cover them. This was the first example of a sacrifice for sin. The second reason it is important is that the words used to describe God covering them are the same as those used to describe the clothing of priests who work in the sanctuary for God. Once again, vocabulary shows the linking of Adam to the priests, showing how Eden is the ideal sanctuary.
Another thing that shows Eden as a sanctuary is the mention of the stones and the gold that were found in the garden in Genesis 2:12. The “good gold” is the same words describing the most precious things in the sanctuary like the ark. Also, the onyx stone is the same type of stone that was on the breastplate (Ex. 25).
These are a few more examples of Eden being seen as the ideal sanctuary. Much of the two last posts come from the study of Gordon Wenham from the article Sanctuary Symbolism in the Garden of Eden Story. Please search out his work for more study on these subjects.
It was natural for Adam and Eve to sew fig leaves and cover their shame. That is what sinners do. That is what we do. Those fig leaves covered nothing. We hide nothing that will not come to light. Silly us, we are just like little toddlers who think they are hiding simply because they cannot see us. They don’t realize that most of them is sticking out in plane sight when they hide. Adam and Eve were naked and they made themselves clothes to cover their nakedness. Now why did God care what clothes they were wearing? Why was it important that God change what they wore? The animal that God killed was a clean animal that God killed as a sacrifice for Adam and Eve to cover their sin until Christ. That skin from that clean animal was made by God into a covering. The very skin of the “sacrificial lamb” whose blood covered their sin, clothed them. This is a beautiful picture of the Lamb of God washing us from our sins and taking away our filthy garments and putting on us His righteousness that has been credited to us. He bore the stroke that was due us, and by faith in Jesus Christ, His righteousness is upon all and to all that believe.
A man surrenders all to His Lord Jesus Christ. Then His lord starts stripping him from self. The man sighs when he sees how bad he really is. He wonders if there is no end to flesh. All his holiness, all his devotion fall way short, and his soul knows this profoundly. This entire man puts all his faith in Jesus period. Jesus plus nothing. Men have abused the grace of God; I have abused the grace of God. As John Wesley found out, when it is all said and done, when the day is done; we are only saved by the blood of the Lamb and are righteous only by the imputed righteousness of Christ. This is my trust. And this is true. What is also true is the sanctification that the Holy Spirit accomplishes in us slowly to conform us to Christ is where we live daily. Submission to God in everything, and feeding day and night on His word by which faith grows, we never arrive. No matter how far we go with God, we are humbled daily by our failures that God graciously brings to light and forgives and insists must go, and only He can remove. I know I am unable; I know my Father is able. I simply must conclude that my heavenly Father is the best. How could He look at me and love me? Yet I heard Him, How long until you believe the love I have for you? Many times I tell my Father that I am not worth spit because I know that His great love should produce in me a reaction that is kind of equal to the love, like whole hearted devotion 24/7, whole soul, whole heart, whole mind. I fall so short. I can only say, Father you are the very best. And He shows me Jesus. How great and wide and inclusive is this infinite sacrifice. Beyond value; beyond words. Knowing we will be judged at the Bema Seat of Christ, how much we with fear and trembling we work out our own salvation for it is God working in us. That no man may glory, and all the glory be to the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, our God.