Genesis 3:20-21 - The First Provision of God for Man: God Provides Life and Clothing
The first judgment has just been pronounced upon man and woman. Both man and his world have been judged to suffer under the corruption of imperfection. Man, tragically, is to be struggling for survival in a hostile and evil world, a world that will eventually snatch his life away. Man is condemned to the most awful fate imaginable, the doom of death and eternal separation from God—unless God can save him. This is the subject of this great passage: “The First Provision of God for Man: God Provides Life and Clothing (Righteousness) for Man.”
A. Adam names the woman, Eve (v.20).
1. “The man called his wife’s name Eve, she was the mother of all the living…” (v.20).
a) He called them Adam.
(1) Genesis 3:20 seems to have no connection with what has gone before. It stands apart and so does the next verse!
(a) Genesis 3:16-19 deals with God’s judgment on Eve and Adam for their sin of eating of the forbidden tree; it follows the preceding verses nicely. In fact, every sequence of events and verses in chapters 1 thru 3 is apparent… until now.
(b) You remember the push button radios? Well, you could have fun by listening to one station and then pushing the button to hear a totally different broadcast.
(i) The first station might be a political speech: “Vote for me and I’ll, then the button would be pushed and the radio would continue, “A pop fly! Out on third.”
(ii) Donald Grey Barnhouse was listening to the marriage of Queen Elizabeth of England to Philip. The minister said, “Do you, Philip, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife…” The radio button was pushed, and the radio continued, “Shake hands, go to your corners and come out fighting.”
(c) Sometimes Scripture seems to have no apparent connection with other verses. But when we study the Bible we must never forget that the Bible has only one Author and He is a God of order.
(d) So whenever we come to a verse that seems unrelated to what has gone before or comes after, we must simply reexamine the text more closely.
(2) The first things we need to understand is that “Eve was Adams name for his wife, not God’s name for Adam’s wife.
(a) This is the first time the name Eve appears in Scripture. We sometimes overlook this fact, so much so that we often refer to Eve when discussing the creation and the fall of man and woman into sin.
(b) But Scripture never refers to the woman as Eve in these accounts. She has been called “female”; a “help-mate” or “suitable helper”; “wife”; and usually “woman”. These are descriptive terms, not names.
(c) What did God name the woman? It is found in (Gen.5:1-2): the name that God gave the woman was “man” or “Adam,” which was the name of her husband.
(d) The significance of this is the fact that in most marriages the woman inevitably gets a large share of her identity from her husband, which is symbolized by the woman taking the mans last name in marriage.
(e) Because of this, it should cause every Godly woman to take particular care about whom she marries.
!!!! b) He believes God’s provision for birth and life.
(1) So God called the woman “Adam.” However, since God called Eve, Adam, why did Adam call Eve, Eve? Adam was giving Eve a title. The name Eve means to live, to give life, or the mother of all living. We would say mother.
(2) Here is the problem: Eve had no children; she was childless. Adam did not even know what pregnancy and giving birth involved, at least not yet. So, why did Adam name his wife Mother when she was not yet a mother?
(3) By naming his wife Eve, Adam was showing that he accepted and believed God’s Word, God’s promise. What Word, what promise?
(a) First – there was God’s promise made in (Gen.3:15-16), the promise that Eve would bear seed and bring forth children.
(i) Note the promise made in (Gen.3:15) where God is judging Satan. God says there will be enmity between the devil’s seed and the woman’s seed.
(ii) Note the promise made in (Gen.3:16) where God is judging the woman. God clearly says that she shall conceive and “bring forth children.”
(b) Second – there was God’s promise made in the latter part of (Gen.3:15), the promise that Eve would bring forth a seed—one particular child—who would crush the head of the serpent or Satan.
(4) The point is this: Adam believed the Word of God (John 4:46-53).
(a) Jesus Was Attempting To Elevate His Faith to a Higher Level.
(i) Jesus Granted His Healing but Refused To Go Down.
(ii) If the father refused to return to Capernaum without taking Jesus with him, he would show that he did not believe Jesus' word.
(iii) If he followed Jesus' order, he would be returning to the dying boy with no outward assurance that the boy would recover (he didn’t see a sign).
(iv) He was forced to make the difficult choice between insisting on evidence or exercising faith without any tangible proof to encourage him—he "took Jesus at his word" (ASV "believed the word") and set out on his return journey.
(b) Lets see the difference between this mans faith and the faith of the centurion in (Matt.8: 5-13).
Psalm 107 says "He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions." (Psalm 107:20, NASB95)
(5) How can we apply this to our lives?
(a) Needs confront every human being, including you – How are you going to react when severe times come your way (Matt.13)?
(b) Are you going to believe the Word of God? Do you need to see signs and wonders or do you believe what God say? Are you going to continue in His Word (John 8:30-31)
(c) Do you give up in prayer or do you persist in prayer? We ought always to pray and not lose heart (Luke 18:1-5).
(d) Are you growing in the area of faith? The maturing of our faith is more precious than gold to our Lord (1 Pet.1:3-9). We are being changed from glory to glory (2Cor.3:18).
(e) Does your faith lead to obedience? Believe God, be obedient to Him, and leave the results in His to Him (Genesis 22:1-19 cf.Heb.11:7-19 ).
!!!!! (6) Remember, as pointed out, Adam and Eve had no children yet.
(7) The only way Adam could know his wife was going to bear children was for God to tell him. This God did; this is clearly stated in (Gen.3:15-16).
(8) Adam believed God, believed the Word and promises of God. Therefore, he named his wife Eve, which means life.
(9) His wife was to bring forth children, and more importantly, she was to bear the promised seed or Savior who would save them and their children
c) We have the same promise given to us.
(1) We already have life upon earth as human beings, but just as Adam and Eve were condemned to die, so are we. However, we do not have to die. We can have the life of the Savior.
(2) We can be saved from the judgment of death just as Adam and Eve were. We can live forever through the cross of the promised seed, the Lord Jesus Christ. How?
(a) By doing what Adam did: believing and accepting the Word and promise of God. We have the very same thing Adam had, God’s Word and promise of life.
(b) All we have to do is believe—truly believe—and commit our lives to God’s Word and promise about Jesus Christ.
Jesus Himself declared "he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” (John 5:24)
He also said in John 10 that "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly." (John 10:10, NASB95)
When Jesus told Martha that her brother Lazarus would live again, He said to her "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies," (John 11:25)
John writes in his first epistle "that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." (1 John 5:11-1)
B. Abram and Abraham – He believed God (Genesis 12:1-3).
1. “I will make you a great nation…” (v.2).
a) The promise given by God.
(1) God promised to give Abram the promised seed, to make him the father of a great nation and race of people. God meant this both literally and spiritually.
(2) Abram means “exalted father.” So here is a man whose name is exalted father but has no children (Gen.13:16; 15:5).
(3) But as we read (Gen.17:1-7) God changes his name from Abram “exalted father” to Abraham “father of a multitude” but, he still is childless.
(4) From a human point of view, this looks ridiculous, but Abraham looked at it from the viewpoint of God, the One who had given him the promises.
This is why Paul says of Abraham’s faith in Romans 4, "Without becoming weak in faith he contemplated his own body, now as good as dead since he was about a hundred years old, and the deadness of Sarah’s womb; yet, with respect to the promise of God, he did not waver in unbelief but grew strong in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.” (Romans 4:19-21, NASB95)
(5) So I am sure you see the progression here:
(a) Adam names his wife Eve, and Abram is renamed to Abraham – in all faithful response to God, who gave the promise of salvation.
(b) We as believers take on the name “Christian” which means “Christ-one.” The reason we have this name is that we take it on ourselves the moment of our surrender to Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
(c) I challenge you to commit yourself to Christ, to take His name on you, and follow in the steps of Adam, Eve and Abram and all who have believed God.
C. God provides clothing for man and woman, clothing through sacrifice (v.21)
1. “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and His wife and clothed them…” (v.21).
a) Need for clothing.
(1) A covering of some sort was needed for both Adam and Eve. God confirmed this need when He made garments from the skins of animals.
(a) The nakedness of Adam and Eve, which required clothing, was psychological as well as physical. It was related to sin and the fact that as a result of sin the man and woman now stood in a wrong relationship to God, one another, and themselves.
(b) They felt exposed and their psychological exposure was intolerable, therefore, they tried to cover themselves up.
(c) People do this today. They use clothes and other means, but the underlying desire is to appear as something they are not.
(2) We also see here that God met their need for the basic necessities of life – clothing. How were they going to live in a fallen world, where there is harsh and dangerous weather without clothing? I believe there are a couple of applications here:
(a) God wanted to show His great love and care for man and woman. God loves and cares for us; therefore, God always reaches out to show us His love and care.
(b) God wanted to teach man and woman that He would take care of their necessities. God will always meet our needs if we will trust and follow after Him.
Speaking about God meeting our needs, Jesus said "Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, NASB95)
Paul said that "My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19, NASB95)
Peter tells us to cast "All your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)
b) Fig leaves.
(1) The most common covering is good works (Rom.2:1-16):
(a) There are those who come to God like the moralist described by Paul in Romans 2. They would agree with what Paul would say about the world being corrupt, but would also exclude himself from Paul’s list.
(b) They would say they are better by virtue of their moral attainments. Mans good works are fig leaves in the eyes of God (Eph.2:8-9).
(2) The second covering is that of religion (Rom.2:17-29):
(a) This persons confidence is in the careful performance of his religious duties. Things like, “I have been baptized,” I teach Sunday School,” I pay tithes,” etc…
(b) Our service to God is very important but these so called duties or service do nothing about the state of our heart.
In Romans 2, Paul puts it this way "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that which is of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter; and his praise is not from men, but from God." (Romans 2:28-29)
(3) The apostle Paul has a list of fig leaves (Phil.3:4-11)
!!!! c) Covering of skins.
(1) This point cannot be missed: God must provide the covering, for only God is adequate to deal with the sin problem. The text says “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (3:21).”
(a) When Adam and Eve sinned, they were immediately affected emotionally and spiritually: they immediately felt guilt and shame.
(b) However, God Himself clothed their shame. This taught Adam and Eve two things:
(i) God alone could cover their feelings of shame and guilt.
(ii) God alone could make them feel right within their hearts.
(c) This, of course, points to the righteousness of Jesus Christ, the righteousness which must clothe every person who wishes to become acceptable to God.
(d) The only way a person can have his guilt and shame covered is to be clothed in the righteousness of Christ. The righteousness of Jesus Christ alone...
(i) can cover the guilt and shame of sin.
(ii) can clothe a person with the righteousness that God accepts.
Paul said "He [God] made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." (2 Corinthians 5:21, NASB95)
Speaking about the redemption which is in Jesus Christ, Paul said "whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;" (Romans 3:25, NASB95)
John writes in his first epistle saying"And you know that He was manifested to take away our sins, and in Him there is no sin." (1 John 3:5, NKJV)
(iii) There is a blessing to those who sins are forgiven (Psalm 32:1-5).
d) Death for life.
(1) God taught man and woman that sin causes the most terrible things imaginable, even death. God used the skins of animals to clothe them.
(a) Imagine Adam and Eve standing there as the animals were slaughtered.
(b) They had never seen blood nor the agony, pain, and suffering of death before. They must have stood there in shock, stricken with the horror and devastation of sin.
(c) When the animals were slaughtered, Adam and Eve learned the terrible results of sin.
(2) I a similar way, in order for us to be clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which is what the skins symbolize, Jesus had to die.
Hebrews 9 says "all things are cleansed with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Hebrews 9:22, NASB95)
(a) It was necessary for the innocent One to die in order that the guilty might live.
(3) This truth may have struck them when it was first revealed:
(a) They were warned that the penalty of eating of the forbidden tree was death.
(b) Up to this point however, there had been no death at all. And now the death that occurs is not their death, though they deserved it, but the death of innocent animals.
(c) And the one who killed the animals was God. This brings up a point:
(i) God ordained the murder of Jesus.
In Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost, he said "This Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.” (Acts 2:23, NASB95)
Or to put it starkly in the words of Isaiah 53, "But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering.” (Is.53:10)
(ii) In what sense was God pleased by the death of His Son?
(a) He was pleased by the redemption that was accomplished. He was pleased that His eternal plan of salvation was thus fulfilled.
(b) He was pleased with the sacrifice of His Son, who died so that others might have eternal life. He was pleased to display His righteous anger against sin in such a graphic way.
(c) He was pleased to demonstrate His love for sinners through such a majestic sacrifice.
(iii) For all the evil in the crucifixion, it brought about an infinite good.
(iv) Though the murderers meant evil against Christ, God meant it for good, in order to save many (Genesis 50:20).