The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.Genesis 3:21(NASB)
"Why does God allow so much evil and suffering?" is a question that is often asked. "Why does God let bad things happen?" is an ongoing cry. But this is often asked by sinners, who do not understand that evil and suffering is a consequence of man's sin, or believers who are trying to live by fleshly works and earn God's favour. God is the Father of mercies and Giver of all good gifts and the evil and suffering of today is an indicator of the shocking effect of sin, in individual lives and the world at large.
This question is often argued by those who fail to grasp why sin came into the world and how sin can be forgiven. But for those with eyes to see, Genesis 3 identifies God as a good God of unimaginable mercy. He is a God of incalculable grace, infinite wisdom, and amazing kindness. But He is also a God of justice, who can have no fellowship with sinful man.
God gave man one simple instruction, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely. But from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die." Adam and Eve failed to obey God's instructions. They disobeyed God's command and lost their innocence.
The moment they sinned they died spiritually. They were separated from God, lost the fellowship they previously enjoyed, and set out on the painful path towards physical death. The moment they sinned they received a conscience, causing them to know what was good without the ability to do good, and to recognise evil without the capacity to avoid it - Oh! What wretched people. Who will deliver you from this body of sin?
From that moment, sin began to reign in the lives of Adam, his wife, and all their offspring. The icy fingers of Death and the burning flames of Hell followed in its wake, as God had warned. Despite their failure in Eden, God in His goodness, grace, mercy, and kindness, made a covenant - the Adamic covenant.
The earth was cursed with thorns and thistles. Man was to work by the sweat of his brow. Woman's pain was to multiply in childbirth BUT Satan's head was to be crushed by the SEED of the woman. Satan, the crooked serpent who deceives the whole world, and who deceived Eve, was to be crushed by the Child that would be born through her. Eve's offspring would be the Saviour of the human race - the Lord Jesus Christ.
Both Adam and Eve accepted God's judgement, for they knew they were naked and deserving of punishment. But the man and his wife believed God's Word, for Adam named his wife Eve, which means the mother of all living. When Adam heard that the SEED of the woman was to crush the head of the Serpent who deceived her... that crooked Serpent, which is called the Devil and Satan, he believed GOD's promise of a Saviour.
By God's immeasurable mercy, inestimable grace, eternal wisdom, and unlimited kindness, their faith was credited to them as righteousness. The man and the woman were saved by grace through faith in God's Word. They were saved by faith in the coming Lord Jesus Christ. "And the LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them."
The hastily sewn fig-leaf aprons with which they had tried to camouflage their sin, were no covering for these two sinners. God slew an innocent animal and made garments of skin for Adam and his wife. The slaughter of that innocent animal foreshadowed the death of the Lord Jesus. The shed blood of the coming Seed of the woman would be the covering, poured over their race of man - in triumph over the deceiving serpent.
The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross was foreshadowed by the shed blood of the innocent animal that God used to cover their nakedness. The animal God used to clothe Adam and Eve was to atone for their sin - to cover their sin until the price was paid at Calvary.
No doubt Adam and Eve watched in shame and horror as they saw one of the animals they had nurtured and named - butchered before their eyes, so that their sin could be covered. They had to understand that the innocent died for the guilty. Its blood was shed to pay the price for their sin. The life-blood of a little animal, that did nothing wrong, became to Adam and his wife, their 'salvation', for God covered their guilt with its blood-stained body, for without the shedding of blood there can be no forgiveness of sin.
The vivid picture of a substitute victim was given to Adam and Eve, and to all who would follow. The animal that was slain became a bloody picture of the cruel death that Christ would face as the one and only and final payment for sin.
The same picture, foreshadowing Christ's sacrificial death as our sin-substitute, was given to Israel, centuries later. The sacrifices God instituted through Moses, were given as a teaching-aid to point them to Christ - the innocent Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world. He is the ONLY One Who perfectly atones for the sin of all who believe. The covering God gave to Adam and Eve pictures Christ's sinless innocence, covering our guilty sin and clothing us in His perfect righteousness.
May we never forget the price Christ paid for our sin, for we were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold but with precious blood, as of a LAMB, unblemished and spotless - the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. How thankful we should be that God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us all - as the Substitute for our sin.
Let us rejoice greatly in the Lord for as long as we live and exult in the God of our salvation, "for He has clothed me with garments of salvation. He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness - like a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels." Let us never forget that like Adam and Eve, Noah and Abraham, Daniel and Peter - James and John, we have been saved by grace, through faith, and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God's unimaginable mercy, incalculable grace, infinite wisdom, and amazing kindness - not as a result of works, lest anyone should boast.
Heavenly Father, thank You that the picture of Adam and Eve being covered in the skin of an innocent animal, reminds us that Christ shed His blood for our sake, so that we could be forgiven of our sin, covered in His perfect righteousness, and receive life everlasting. Thank You that You did not leave us to wallow in our sin, but set in motion Your perfect plan of redemption for whosoever believes in the atoning blood of Christ. Give me a greater understanding of the shocking effect of sin in the lives of individuals and the world at large, and thank You for Your unimaginable mercy, incalculable grace, infinite wisdom, and amazing kindness, in sending Jesus to be the offering for my sin. Thank You in Jesus' name, AMEN.