“In the Beginning” by G S Royal

A guest post by G S Royal.

I’ve been thinking about ‘In the beginning’.  You know, let-there-be-light stuff, Adam & Eve, gardening naked.  I’ve read the Genesis account numerous times and I always cringe when the enemy of our souls invades that ancient paradise.  Knowing how my wife feels about the “S” creatures (which will forever go unnamed – the word is never spoken in our house) Satan would have found it necessary to embody a different animal to tempt her.  Otherwise, original sin would have never occurred.

I’m no theologian, so I always leave the story with questions I can’t answer, but I only need to go three chapters deep to learn from where (or from whom) we get the tendency to have an increased desire for things we’re told are off-limits.  We all are familiar with the simple thought, “That looks good; I think I’ll have some.”  For some of us, it’s as benign as the need for a second piece of cake, or as malignant as the desire for another person’s mate.  The Bible tells us that we inherited our bent toward sin from our Edenic forefather.  It seems our tendency to be more concerned with how things look than how things are was inherited, too.  Jesus spoke of this when he called the religious leaders white washed sepulchers full of dead men’s bones.

We react to the knowledge of our sin in strange ways at times.  Denial is one.  Pretending it will go away is another.  Some even try to define it out of existence.  I can understand the logic of trying to hide the evidence of a crime, but I can’t recall any of my sins that have prompted me to say, “Quick!  Where are the fig leaves?”

There are different schools of thought on why Adam & Eve reacted that way. The Bible says they were afraid, but many believe that shame played a part in it too.  Earlier, God had told them that if they ate of the forbidden fruit they would surely die.  They had just done that very thing, and they knew what God had said would come next.  I would have hidden in the bushes, too! They were afraid, and it had nothing to do with what God had earlier pronounced ‘very good,’ suddenly becoming very bad.

Some people believe they covered themselves and hid in the bushes because they were ashamed of their bodies.  Look at the second question God asked Adam: “Who told you that you were naked?”  God already knew the answer; He was helping Adam and Eve to see where they got that information.  The second sin in the garden (It’s reasonable to believe there were more than one) was continuing to listen to Satan.  They were exercising their new moral independence from God, and perhaps Satan told them their naked bodies were disgraceful, and they believed that, too.  Isn’t it quite telling that their first decisions apart from God were already ‘missing the mark.’

Now what about that animal skin clothing?  Some people believe that by making more durable clothes for them, God was apparently agreeing with Satan regarding their nakedness.  Really??  Others, including myself, see a different story.  In his infinite grace, God allowed the death penalty to fall to innocent animals, a foreshadowing of later Old Testament law and ultimately the crucifixion of Christ.  Wearing the skins became a daily reminder of the awesome grace of God, not condemnation of their fearfully and wonderfully made bodies.

What we have is a heart problem, not a body problem.  Nothing we do to our bodies can change that.  I think this is one of the lessons to be learned from the creation story.  Let me share a poem I wrote entitled Eden:

The majesty of mountains high – and snow!
Trees, and birds that perch in them to sing,
May flowers that the April showers bring,

Wild horses! Whales, the moon and stars aglow!
The handiwork of God is all around,
And richly on display for all to see,
Such loveliness and creativity,
A virtual smorgasbord of sight and sound!
So should the centerpiece of godly art,
The human body, be with reverence viewed.
The problem is within the human heart
When we’re ashamed to see or be seen nude;
We have it wrong, and have right from the start.
God made us beautiful, we made it lewd.

H. L. Mencken is quoted as saying, “There is always an easy solution to every human problem: simple, plausible, and wrong.”  The only real answer is to be clothed in the righteousness of the Son of God, Jesus, the Christ.  You won’t find it growing on a tree.  It is found in the outstretched hands of God himself, with an invitation that says, “Here, put this on.  It fits much better than those leaves.”

17 thoughts on ““In the Beginning” by G S Royal

  1. Reuben Titus

    They had a body energy field that kept them at perfect temperature all the time and made a soft glow of light. That was lost when they sinned. It’s what drew their attention to their bodies, made them feel like something was missing and tried to replace it with fig leaves. Then after the expulsion the leather robes were provided for cool night wraps, a wearable blanket robe. Not for any moral reasons. I’ve been taught of God that it’s really the other way around, clothing has been the cause of much of the serious moral decline of society. Due to the fact that children when isolated from sight of the natural body, their minds never get conditioned to see and ignore it, and so when they start to mature the subconscious can throw lust onto the naked body. It happened to me and God finally revealed to me why and how I could reverse the conditioning just by going naked in common life and ignoring myself. Tried it and it really worked. That’s how to unlock those seemingly locked in lust compulsions for either same sex or opposite sex. Seeing and ignoring on the conscious level reacts on the subconscious to stop it from lustifying over the natural form.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Paul B

    I heard a definition of the difference between guilt and shame. Guilt says, I did something wrong. Shame says, there’s something wrong with me. I looked Shame up in Merriam-Websters. One of the things it said was that shame is a feeling associated with guilt. I think it’s a little more complicated than that, but in my experience, shame makes me want to hide. I was reading some notes I made in 2014 doing a study of Genesis. In Genesis 3 I wrote, “vulnerability (represented by nakedness) became a liability.”. Although I’m not sure I’d quite define myself as naturist now, I was definitely textile when I wrote it. The word translated “naked” in Genesis 1 means exactly that. The word translated “naked” in Genesis 3 is different. Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it also implies exposure. Genesis 1 had to add that they were unashamed. The different word used in Genesis 3 tells us that it a no longer the case.

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  3. Gil Royal

    I was so pleased to see my article, In the Beginning, on your website. AchingForEden is being used to free people (including me) from bondage, and I am grateful to be a small part of that.
    Gil Royal

    Liked by 4 people

  4. kamionrenokai

    This is a good article! It’s always interesting to look through the Creation story and other parts, especially when it comes to our bodies and naturism. I do have a question, though, as this is something I’ve been trying to figure out for myself: how did you come to the conclusion that the Lord killed one or more blameless animals to make the coats of skins for Adam and Eve? I’ve heard one or two arguments for that, like referencing Hebrews 9:22 (particularly the second half), and like you said, foreshadowing the sacrificial sin atonement system put forth in Leviticus (if not earlier in Exodus). The thing I’ve found with that is it leaves me with a number of unanswered questions, and I wondered if maybe you had found things out that I hadn’t.

    I’ve heard a couple of suggestions within the vein of what you said about animals being killed, such as either the Lord killed and used their skins, or Adam and Eve did it themselves under the Lord’s command, but the main thing that has held me back is that neither of those methods are specifically mentioned in the Bible, unless I’ve missed them (which is certainly possible). My thought is that if the Lord had killed one or more blameless animals, or instructed Adam and Eve to do it instead (something along the lines of “each take a rock, bang it against a bigger rock until you sharpen one end to a point…”), wouldn’t He have inspired Moses (assuming he wrote Genesis; if not, whoever actually did) to take that down as well? It feels like it would be something too great to leave out, in my opinion. Another thing I wondered about was, has the Lord done something in place of someone else if He wanted them to do it, but they weren’t able to for some reason? The reason I’m curious is because if the verse from Hebrews was in play here, since the sins were on Adam and Eve, would the Lord have given them explicit instructions on how to kill the animals, if nothing else? Since they weren’t the Lord’s sins, I didn’t think He would do that.

    Finally, one of the questions I really haven’t been able to answer, mainly because of the overarching consequences of what it suggests, is: if the killing of the blameless animals was to atone for Adam and Eve sins, and they were instructed to kill them by the Lord (and did as they were told), and the sins of disobeying the Lord and listening to Satan were stoned for… would that have completely canceled out the Fall right then and there? Would the Lord have removed every single curse He pronounced on the two of them, the serpent (Satan), and the world outside the Garden, and other things? I could see an argument that other things would have been left in, such as those curses, but it really leaves me wondering.

    My personal conclusion is that the Lord created the coats of skins out of thin air, in much the same way He spoke everything else (except humans) into being during the six days of Creation. I believe this because Genesis 3:21 only mentions the coats being made, and Him clothing Adam and Eve with them, and no other instructions on how they were made. This is why I’ve been curious about others such as yourself who believe that blameless animals were killed and skinned, since I could see the connection, yet I haven’t been able to completely prove the connection myself.

    Maybe you can help me figure out where you’re coming from? I mean no ill will against you or anyone else, and enjoy your article as well as the other ones from Mr. and Mrs. Phil on this site.

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    • pastordavidrn

      I’d like to help answer your questions. First, while Gen 3:21 is silent about WHY God made leather and “clothed them,” it clearly states that He did so without a hint that Adam and Eve’s work assisted Him. This is a vitally important point. Just as the ‘protevangelium’ in Gen 3:15 presages Christ’s ultimate defeat of Satan, this act on God’s part alone foreshadows a coming, ultimate Sacrifice that would also be His work alone. Bible teachers of both the ancient past and modern times have spoken of this in reference to v.21.

      But, second, that there was animal death to get those skins is theologically and contextually assured. Your conclusion that God made “the coats of skins out of thin air” hits a theological wall in Gen 2:1-4. The creation was not only completely “finished,” but it had also now fallen under sin’s curse. Except for half of the genetic material in Christ’s conception and His entire physical body after resurrection, no new material has been made once God “rested” from His creative work. To say the contrary jeopardizes the necessary theological distinction between the old creation and the new creation, of which Jesus alone, at this point, is the only physical Specimen. Even for physical miracles in Scripture, God uses what He has already made (e.g., the coin in the fish’s mouth for taxes, the multiplication of loaves and fish).

      But in the context of Gen 4, just 6 verses away from the “skins” passage, we see God’s insistence on animal death as the proper sacrifice. If God’s intension for the skins was to “atone” [kaphar, cover over], then their use was evidently sacrificial. Jesus includes Abel with the prophets killed for their message (Luke 11:50-51), and the fact that Cain knew to “do well” (v.7) points to animal sacrifice as Abel’s prophetic word to his brother, a word that brought his martyrdom. Also, the historical fact that animal sacrifice has always existed, long before it was ritualized through Moses, is a powerful indicator that somehow, while much about “the beginning” was forgotten by humanity, the death of innocent animals as a divine requirement was remembered.

      Finally, animal sacrifices only “atone,” cover over sins, unable to take them away (Heb 10:1-4). In contrast, Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). In that sense, the trajectory of fallen humanity and our fallen world could never have been altered by animal sacrifice. But those sacrifices do portend, as necessary and provisional symbolism for the coming Final Sacrifice accomplished on the Christ’s Cross.

      Liked by 3 people

  5. pastordavidrn

    Hey, Royal Poet, I like hearing these familiar concepts restated in a creative way that makes them fresh to my own ears. Carefully and thoughtfully written, my friend, and a great poem to illustrate and wrap up your points. Blessings, brother!

    Liked by 2 people

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