Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Hiding Behind Fig Leaves - Martin Wiles

So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves. Genesis 3:7 NLT

Young children can hide in the craziest places. 

Imagine: “Levi, do you want to play Hide n Seek with Pop?”

“Okay.” 

“You hide, and Pop will find you.” 

I’m sitting in my recliner. He scampers off for the kitchen.

“Ready or not, here I come,” I call as I head to where I know he is. I find him standing in the middle of the kitchen floor with only his hands over his eyes. In his young mind, he thought that action would keep me from seeing him. 

Seems silly, but we humans haven’t done a much better job when we’ve tried to hide from God. Adam and Eve were placed in a pristine environment. Everything they could ever want at their fingertips. They weren’t satisfied. Fruit from the one tree God said was off limits lured them. A slithering serpent (Satan) provided the enticement, but they still had the power to say, “No.”

After the deed was done, something they’d never felt before overwhelmed them: shame. They had violated God’s express command. Their attempt to cover the guilt came in the form of sewn together fig leaves. They soon discovered leaves couldn’t keep God from seeing them anymore than my grandson’s hands could keep me from observing him. 

Fast forward a few thousand years, and we find religious leaders attempting to cover their guilt too…but with different things. They attempted to hide behind a fa├žade of good works. Jesus told them they were just white washed dead bones. He could see beneath their outside. 

I’ve sewn sets of fig leaves as well. They may have consisted of good works, involvement in community organizations, involvement in what I thought were beneficial relationships, or holding a host of positions in my local church. 

None of the above—or anything else—can erase guilt feelings. There are just not enough fig leaves. True guilt comes when God’s commands are violated or He has been ignored. Christ has paid for whatever we’ve done, and confession—not fig leaves, will alleviate the guilt. We can’t work to repay what we couldn’t buy in the first place, nor can we ever be good enough to place God under obligation to us. All He requires is heartfelt sorrow.

Have you been trying to hide guilt behind fig leaves?

Prayer: Father, we give our guilt to You. We realize only the blood of Christ can cover it. 

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