So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:6-10)
The Fear That Comes From Sin
Adam and Eve lived in paradise with everything they needed for complete happiness but were not satisfied. There was nothing lacking in God’s care for them as they communed first hand with the Lord. Satan knew he could destroy the relationship between man and God if he could convince them the joys they would have in taking the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The ploy of the devil was to make Eve question the word of God and see how fulfilling it would be to take of what she knew was forbidden. Deep inside Eve knew she should not take of the fruit but for a moment’s reckless folly she took the fruit and ate. Giving some to Adam he knew what he was doing was wrong but like Eve thought the moment pleasurable and he ate. For a brief moment there was great joy and satisfaction. Almost everything they thought would come to pass happened as they drank deeply from the succulent taste of the fruit. What was forbidden was now enjoyed; that which had such a great appeal was now theirs; in that flicker of time when everything highlighted the pleasure of sin Adam and Eve felt the rush of happiness. And then everything came crashing down.
The eyes of Adam and Eve were opened to a world they had never experienced before. Remorse flooded their soul and shame filled their hearts. It was a crushing blow to the holiness and righteous feeling of being close to God and walking with Him in the cool of the day. They looked at one another and felt the immense shame of their nakedness. Instinctively they felt exposed and humiliated seeking to cover themselves with loin coverings of fig leaves. Now hearing the sound of God walking through the garden they experienced something that was more dreadful than anything they could have ever imagined – fear. Hiding among the trees of the garden the hearts of Adam and Eve beat wildly with sorrow, regret and unbearable pain. God called to them and with trembling voice they answered. They were afraid, terribly afraid of the judgment of their Creator as they hid from His face. Through the grace and mercy of God they would be spared but taken away from their paradise home and the joy of walking hand in hand with the Lord. Life would now be hard and toilsome as they were expelled from Eden to walk on the earth as sinful people needing the grace of God. There would be many other times in 930 years that Adam struggled with sin. He would feel the same remorse, sorrow and guilt as he did the first time. By the love of God he would know salvation.
Sin has not changed. It still has the same result but the reaction of man is what can change. There is pain and sorrow when sin invades the heart. Satan tempts the heart of man to take a morsel of pleasure for the passing fancy of rebelling against the holiness of God but all man finds is the deep hurt caused by turning away from God. There has never been any lasting joy to sin. Darkness is the veil of its covering and despair is always its nature. The heart of the servant of God will feel the crushing blow of sins painful sting seeking reconciliation to the holiness of the Lord. David felt this pain with Bathsheba. Moses in his misdirected anger immersed himself in the contriteness of his heart when he sinned against God. Peter was crushed beyond measure when sin overtook his heart to deny Jesus Christ. Sin is not a mistake, a misjudgment of character or something to trifle with. The nature of sin is a horrible, sinking, disparity of soul experience that should bring every man to his knees begging the forgiveness of God. Joy in sin will never be found but joy in Christ is always promised. Through the eternal love of the Father and the unselfish sacrifice of His Son, hope brightens the soul to feel the grace of God that removes the sting of sin. There are no words in any language that can describe the incredible kindness of God to allow man to seek His glory to remove the stain of sin from the heart. Thank you Father for Your longsuffering and forgiveness. How great a God we serve.