Life in the garden! An opulent home for earth’s first inhabitants. The garden of creation was God’s kingdom on earth, which contained health, wealth, welfare, safety, prosperity, peace, all God’s plan of provision.
Of all the garden’s lovingly created elements, no more precious element existed than God’s presence. In ancient times, when a Persian king wanted to present a special honor on one of his subjects, he granted the subject the title of “a companion of the garden,” which gave him the privilege of walking in the garden as a special friend and companion of the king.
And man did so unashamedly with the King of the garden. Until one day…
In her unusual conversation with a serpent, Eve repeated what Adam had told her, adding her own interpretation, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’” (Gen. 3:2-3 NKJV)
The hissing serpent said to her, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5 NKJV)
But the pleasant-to-the-eyes fruit tempted Eve and she succumbed to desire. She ate from the forbidden tree and she shared it with Adam.
“At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.” (Gen. 3:7 NLT)
Adam and Eve heard God walking in the garden and hid themselves from Him. “And Jehovah God called to the man and said to him, Where are you? And he said, I have heard Your sound in the garden, and I was afraid, for I am naked, and I hid myself.” (Gen. 3:9-10 Masoretic Text)
What was the name of Adam and Eve’s fig leaf?
Desire. Succumbing to temptation. A desire to do what God had told them not to do. It’s called Sin.
They enjoyed a full and intimate fellowship with God until they no longer resisted desire. They hid behind fig leaves of sin. A barrier went up that day for all eternity. Separating them from God and from each other.
When we succumb to temptation, we dress ourselves in fig leaves. We choose desire over obedience as the “unrighteous” do, as Paul says, whose “lives became full of every kind of wickedness, sin, greed, hate, envy, murder, quarreling, deception, malicious behavior, and gossip. They are backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful. They invent new ways of sinning, and they disobey their parents.” (Rom. 1:29-30 NLT)
Those fig leaves become barriers to the precious presence of the Lord, the King of the garden. Barriers we erect ourselves by our wrong choices that separate us from God, and each other, and our fellowship is marred.
The consequences of the fall are still in effect. However, Christ came to take away that effect, our shame of sin, to strip us naked, if you will, of self and sin and give us back that companion-of-the-garden fellowship.
We enter the Lord’s presence with our barriers down, naked in His sight and asking for forgiveness. He knows the name of that fig leaf anyway.
“But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7 NLT)
What is the name of your fig leaf?