Genesis 3:7-13

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

And they heard the sound of the LordGod walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LordGod among the trees of the garden. But the LordGod called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” 11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LordGod said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”[1]

We have entered the section in Moses’ story of primal history where Adam and Eve rebelled against the Covenant Creator God, turning the world upside down. Joy in God was snuffed out. Any sense of covenant obligation to God was extinguished. God became unreal. In that moment, Adam and Eve accepted their wants as the only reality. How could their perfectly reasonable desire for something good possibly be sinful? If God was truly good, he would want us to be happy. Everything within them rose up against the Word of God.

We can see Eve’s shift in thinking as she engages in a dialogue with the serpent-dragon whom God allowed into his garden-temple so that Adam, as prophet-priest-king, could pronounce the final judgment on sin. Instead, Adam stands passively by allowing himself and his wife to entertain heresy. Eve begins by minimizing God’s covenant blessing of giving them every edible thing in the garden. Then, she overblows the strictness of God’s covenant curse, claiming that merely brushing up against the forbidden tree will bring death. Finally, Eve softens the reality of the covenant curse of death: God said they would surely dieif they ate the forbidden fruit; Eve said merely they would die, questioning the very certainty of the curse. So, depending on her own observation of the fruit’s appearance and the devil’s promise of gaining knowledge independent from God, she ate the sacramental meal of her new religion.

Adam was even more guilty than Eve, since he was the one who directly received the terms and conditions of God’s Covenant of Works before Eve’s creation. He was present with Eve during her dialogue and he failed in his duty to protect her and to cleanse God’s holy garden sanctuary from this blaspheming creature. Instead of pronouncing God’s judgment upon sin, he judged God to be deficient, the serpent-dragon to be good, and God’s covenant to be false. Adam had already broken covenant with God the moment he failed to rebuke his wife and condemn the serpent-dragon. So, his eating the fruit was merely a sign and seal of the sins he had already committed. He was dead in sin before he used Eve as a lab rat. He ate only after he observed she did not drop dead from eating the fruit. Adam wasn’t fooled like Eve. He made an eyes-wide-open, self-serving choice to disobey God before he ever ate the fruit.

The innocent righteousness that flowed from their unrestrained harmony with the Covenant Creator God vanished. “Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.[2]The product of man’s new religion is NOT ultimate enlightenmentnor total consciousnessnor a state of Nirvananor peace and harmony. The products of man’s new religion were shame, fear, and a desperate pursuit of self-righteousness. Adam and Eve, convicted by the law written on their hearts, make aprons of fig leaves and hide in the bushes. They had lost the glorious covering of God’s righteousness and tried to cover their sin with their own shabby works – represented by the scratchy, rash-inducing fig leaves.


Adam and Eve were “DRT” – dead right there, before they even bit into the fruit of the tree of judgment. They broke covenant with God before either one tasted the fruit. In the Bible “to die” does not mean to cease to be. Death is not the reverse of life; it’s the reverse of existence. It means to be cut off from the land of the living. Death is diminished existence, but still existence. Adam and Eve’s existence became one of death – spiritual separation from life in their Covenant Creator God and perfect relationship with him in his perfect garden-temple. Not only that, but the very second they broke their covenant relationship with God they became at once completely sinful. Like a drop of ink in a pale of water, sin permeated every aspect of their existence.[3]

The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death.” We know he had Adam in mind since he wrote in Rom. 5:12, “sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned”.[4]Adam was our covenant head, our union representative. When he sinned, all of us were born into Adam’s sinful state – born guilty; born spiritually dead. So Paul tells the Ephesians, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sinsin which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:1-2).[5]Like Adam and Eve became by choice, we are by nature hiders from, and not seekers of God (Rom. 3:9-18).

“In an instant the original couple passed from life to death, from sinlessness to sin, from harmony to alienation, from trust to distrust, from ease to dis-ease. It did not take a day. It happened in a millisecond!”[6]The way Adam and Eve tried to deal with their sin is the same way we try to deal with it today. And the way God dealt with Adam and Eve is the same way he deals with us.


Though God is present in every part of the universe at all times, he was especially present in all his glory as he lived with Adam and Eve in the garden-temple in the land of Eden. The garden-temple was a picture of the ultimate garden-temple that awaits all God’s people at the end of this present age (Rev. 22:15). In Genesis, the garden as a temple can be seen in the fact that when Adam and Eve were cast from the garden, cherubim were placed at its entrance to prevent their access (3: 24). In the tabernacle constructed at God’s direction by Israel in the wilderness, statues of cherubim were placed on either side of the ark in the holy of holies. Statues of cherubim as guardians of the divine sanctuary are found in the holy of holies of the Jerusalem temple.

We note that so that we don’t misunderstand verse 8, “And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.[7]God didn’t “come down” to the garden; he was already there because it was his earthly palace. What Adam and Eve heard were God’s sacred steps they had joyfully heard many times before. But now, they were filled with dread. Moses writes that they “hid themselves.” That verb “hid” suggests that each of them hid separately, not together – each looking out only for themselves (3:10, “I hid myself”). Here is evidence of sin corrupting logic. Men try to hide from God, rather than seeking him out as the only source of hope. Romans 3:11 tells us “no one seeks for God.” But not only does no sinner seek for God, we have all become hiders from God – as if such a thing were possible. Can trees or shrubbery really hide men from God? The Psalmist sang:

Where shall I go from your Spirit? /Or where shall I flee from your presence? …/If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, /and the light about me be night,” /12 even the darkness is not dark to you; /the night is bright as the day, /for darkness is as light with you.[8]

Like the prophet Jonah fleeing in the opposite direction from the place God called him to minister (Jonah 1:3), unbelief produces the delusion that we can somehow be where God is not. One great symptom of sin nature is this false idea that God cannot know what we are up to. John wrote a great promise in Revelation 22:4, “They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.” Do you see the contrast between God’s promise of true comfort and man’s sinful quest to flee from God? God seeks. Man hides. But God finds. “But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ 10 And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’[9]

The Lord addresses a question rather than a command to the secluded man, for God must draw rather than drive him out of hiding. He is the good shepherd who seeks the lost sheep.[10]God could have called out, “Why are you hiding?” drawing attention to Adam’s stupidity and the futility of trying to conceal himself. God’s question is addressed only to Adam, since Adam is the prophet-priest-king of the garden-temple. Adam stood up from his hiding place with a guilty look on his face, wearing his pathetic fig leaves. He mumbled his reply to God. Eve crept out of her hiding place. God graciously invited them to come to their senses. Yet, their dialogue with God is defensive and deflective.

Adam admits no wrongdoing. He only says he hid because he was naked and afraid. At that moment Adam was more aware of his nakedness and shame than of his sin against the Creator Covenant God. The only confession the fallen prophet-priest-king could manage was a confession of his feelings. In this new self-focused state, he was far more concerned about himself than about his breaking covenant with his Creator. This self-focus and shrinking from God are hallmarks of our fallen condition. It wasn’t that Adam was unaware he had sinned; he was simply curved inward upon himself. His feelings and his wants were far more important to him than anyone else’s. Adam had come to love himself above God and above his wife.

No one seeks God; everyone flees God (Romans 3:11). R. Kent Hughes writes in his commentary:

Even fallen man’s apparent seeking is not after God but after the idolatrous god of his own making. Fear and shame and flight are the incurable stigmata of the fall. We only begin to deal with them when God says, “Where are you?”[11]

Maybe God is calling to you this morning – calling you from your hiding, from your shame, your fear, your secrecy, your futile covering of self-righteous fig leaves that drive you to convince those around you that someone else is the guilty party; that even with whatever unspecified “faults” you might be willing to admit generally, you are still the greater victim. Only the grace of God can free you from your addiction to relative morality and begin to teach you that the only real enemy is your own sin. Calvin said of this passage:

In the same manner we also are alarmed at the voice of God, as soon as his law sounds in our ears; but presently we snatch at shadows, until he, calling upon us more vehemently, compels us to come forward, arraigned at his tribunal. Paul calls this the life of the Law, when it slays us by charging us with our sins. For as long as we are pleased with ourselves and are inflated with a false notion that we are alive, the law is dead to us, because we blunt its point by our hardness; but when it pierces us more sharply, we are driven into new terrors.[12]


We see God addressing the man, the woman, and the serpent-dragon in the order of their responsibility. Adam, as God’s prophet-priest-king bore the primary responsibility. Having gently coaxed Adam and Eve from hiding, God moves on to ask two questions: “Who told you that you were naked?” and “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Notice, Adam doesn’t answer the first question. He blames his fear on God’s voice and the knowledge his own nakedness, but he will not confess that his fear and knowledge arise out of his free choice to break covenant with God.

Satan told the very first lie on God’s newly-created earth. But Adam, having bought into the falsehoods of the Father of Lies, tells a lie of his own making. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.[13]Adam transfers his own guilt to God. This is the act of a spiritually dead man. Remember, this is the same man who busted a rhyme upon seeing Eve for the very first time:

This at last is bone of my bones /and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman, /because she was taken out of Man.[14]

The first human words recorded in scripture were a poetic couplet celebrating this new creature fashioned by God specifically for Adam – such an expression of joy, intimacy, oneness. Now, Adam’s song is replaced by cold, calculating treachery. YOU made this woman for me. It’s YOUR fault. SHE gave me the fruit; it’s her fault. Adam would live another 930 years. But paradise was lost. Heaven and earth were torn apart. Do you see how Adam had become like Satan? Satan argued that a better God would not withhold the right to have one’s own ideas of good and evil from his creatures. Adam now argued that a better God would have fashioned a better mate; God was cheap with Adam. This is blasphemy from the mouth of God’s prophet-priest-king! Eve’s excuse was no different: a better God would not have made such a deceptive creature as the serpent-dragon. At this point, neither Adam nor Eve have even a hint of contrition for their treachery against their Covenant Creator God. Sin has blinded them to their condition.

They cannot see their own sin, only the sinful actions of others. “I can’t enjoy my marriage because of her/him. I can’t enjoy worship because of THAT person or that thing. I can’t do my job well because of my boss.”The heart, mired in sin, seeks external causes; the heart into which faith and repentance is God-breathed begins to see its own sin – the real, internal cause of ALL problems. Sin makes us all buy off on the lie that our problems are OUTSIDE of us. God’s Law, when we are given ears to hear it, tells each and every one of us that our problems are INSIDE of us. Each and every time you demand that another person change or another circumstance change, you are mired in your own sin just like Adam and Eve and the devil. Sin gives birth to the language of victimhood.

The Genesis reality and the New Testament reality is this: “But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1: 14, 15). We cannot blame God. We cannot blame anyone else. And we cannot blame the devil.[15]The problem is not outside of you, but inside of you. So, what is the solution. The solution is not inside of you, but outside of you! Paul explained it this way:

17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ. [16]

The first Adam passed the buck. But the Last Adam, Messiah Jesus, was born free from the condition of sin. Because of that, he never blamed anyone else for his suffering. Rather, willingly he took on the blame, the covenant curse for sin. The buck stops with Jesus! We see that clearly on Calvary’s three crosses. On either side of Jesus hung two men hurling curses at their tormentors who were mocking and cursing them. But Jesus endured the mocking and cursing. In the midst of his agony, he cried out, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Then, one of the other convicts ceased his blaming those around him and realized that Messiah Jesus, the blamed one, was blameless. He asked Jesus to take notice of him and his pitiful condition. Jesus did, and promised that blameworthy sinner admission into the paradise of God.

During the darkness of Calvary, that blameworthy sinner’s sins were lifted from him and placed on Jesus. His blaming of others stopped. God’s blame upon him stopped because of the perfect life and sacrificial death of the resurrected and ascended Last Adam.

Have you stopped passing the buck? Have you come to believe your problems are inside of you, not outside? Most importantly, have you passed your guilt and shame onto Jesus?

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. [17]


[1]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 3:7–13.

[2]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 3:7.

[3]Hughes, 76. Kindle Edition.

[4]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 5:12.

[5]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Eph 2:1–2.

[6]Hughes, 76. Kindle Edition.

[7]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 3:8.

[8]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ps 139:7, 11–12.

[9]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 3:9–10.

[10]Hamilton, 192–193.

[11]Hughes, 78. Kindle Edition.

[12]John Calvin, Genesis, electronic ed., Calvin’s Commentaries, 1998, Ge 3:9.

[13]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 3:12.

[14]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ge 2:23.

[15]Hughes, 80-82. Kindle Edition.

[16]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Ro 5:17.

[17]The Holy Bible: English Standard Version(Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016), Re 22:17.