I, in my finite mind, always equated nakedness with the lack of clothes. It’s amazing how much we take for granted, until our own reasoning is challenged. I had read the story of Adam and Eve many times, and it never dawned on me to question why they were so shook up behind realizing their nakedness. After all, they had always been naked. So I went over the account again, and there it was.
God, right after the fall of Adam, asked Adam two questions, one of which he never answered. I’ve often heard men and women preach and teach on the second question, and how Adam passed the buck to the woman, and how she passed it to the serpent. But, to my recollection, I have never heard anyone preach or teach on the first question.
The two questions that burned in Adams mind are found in the third chapter of Genesis; He said, ” Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” I kind of equated that first question with the lack of clothing. Wrong! They lacked material clothing from the very beginning, that kind of nakedness was not a sudden new-found awareness. Therefore, when Adam said, ” I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked: and I hid myself”, he was not talking about material clothing. Notice that in verse seven (7) they had already provided themselves with aprons made from sewn fig leaves. So when Adam said he was afraid because he was naked, he already had a type of covering. So, if he was not referring to material clothing, or physical nakedness, what was he referring to?
We know when God created Adam he was a perfect immortal being, clothed in God’s own righteousness. When Adam fell, or sinned, he was changed from immortal to mortal, and Gods’ righteousness was withdrawn from him. Adam was now spiritually naked, as well as spiritually dead.
God, through his written word, tells us that we need to be clothed (spiritually). God, inspiring John to write to the Church at Laodicea said this, “therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, that you may be rich, and white garments to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen, ….” Revelation 3:18.
Adam never answered that first question because he didn’t have to. No one had to tell him he was naked, he knew.
We know too. When we do things that go against our better judgement, against our conscience, against all conventional wisdom, no one have to tell us, we know.
The Bible says, ” let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure – for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints”, Revelation 19:7, 8 RSV.