The Creation and the Fall of Mankind

Genesis 1:26-31
New King James Version (NKJV)
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Genesis 2:7-25
7 And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
8 The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. 9 And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 Now a river went out of Eden to water the garden, and from there it parted and became four riverheads. 11 The name of the first is Pishon; it is the one which skirts the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 And the gold of that land is good. Bdellium and the onyx stone are there. 13 The name of the second river is Gihon; it is the one which goes around the whole land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is Hiddekel; it is the one which goes toward the east of Assyria. The fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
18 And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” 19 Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
21 And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
23 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 3
1 Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; 3 but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.’”
4 Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 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. 7 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.
8 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.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”
12 Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.”
13 And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent:
“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. 15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.”
16 To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; in pain you shall bring forth children; your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field. 19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.”
20 And Adam called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living.
21 Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
22 Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever”— 23 therefore the Lord God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. 24 So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life.
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This is the account of the creation of mankind and the fall from the book of Genesis without any cultural alterations, but how do 21st century American Christians read and interpret this account? Most we will read the account “as-is” until they get to Genesis 2:25 “And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

What about that “naked and not-ashamed” part? Shouldn’t that mean that they were “naked, but something didn’t feel quite right“? Shouldn’t they have been ashamed, since they were naked? Or, how could God have the audacity to create them naked, and not provide them a whole wardrobe of clothing?

Maybe they weren’t ashamed when they were taking a bath or having sex, but living naked? They HAD to be ashamed at their nakedness…

The problem is that these interpretations don’t fit the text. If the Bible is God’s Word, then it was God that said they were “naked and not ashamed“.

In this culture, nakedness is automatically equated with shame, and the only situations where a person is allowed to be naked are when they are bathing or changing clothes, or having sex, or being examined by a doctor or other medical person. Even then we may feel shame…

What we fail to take into account is that Adam and Eve had never had clothes on, and had never seen anyone with clothes on. Even the concept of clothing was foreign to them, so being “naked“, as we think of it, was totally NORMAL to them. Even the concept of being “naked” was unknown to them. They weren’t “naked“… they were as God created them. The French call it “au naturel“, which is quite an elegant description.

There are still indigenous tribes of people living in remote parts of the world who spend their entire lives without any form of clothing. The only way they would ever know the difference was if someone from a clothed culture invaded their territory. For them, living without clothing is NORMAL, and the concept of being “naked” would not even register. We are the ones who have a problem with being “clothes-free“.

We tend to interpret Scripture through the lens of our culture, rather than interpreting our culture through the LIGHT of Scripture.
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So what about the fall? On to Genesis 3… 6 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. 7 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.
8 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.
9 Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?”
10 So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?”

The critical verse here is Genesis 3:7 “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 .”

Well why didn’t they make coverings for themselves earlier? They were naked, and why did it take them this long to figure it out? Because before they sinned, they had no reason to feel shame… They also didn’t know there was a difference.

Again, our culture equates nakedness with shame, while the true source if their shame was disobeying God, NOT their nakedness.

Do you see the problem here? The real problem is that we are projecting our cultural biases back several thousand years on Adam and Eve, and they had no such biases. They were “naked and unashamed“.
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How about this clothing issue?
From Genesis 3:21 we read “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.” They had made themselves temporary coverings, and God made them more durable coverings, but why?

The answer to the “why” question comes from Genesis 3:18a “Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you.” Thorns and thistles… The Garden of Eden provided a perfect and safe environment for them to live and work, but the “real” world was not going to be quite as hospitable. They would face extremes of temperature, both hot and cold. They would face those flesh-damaging thorns and thistles, and what about those unmentioned stinging and biting insects?

God knew all these things. After all, He created it all, so the solution He provided was coverings of skins…coverings that were far more durable than their fig-leaf coverings. God’s provision was a gracious act…one He had no obligation to do. He could have left them to fend for themselves, but He didn’t.

Doesn’t that seal the deal? They needed clothes and God provided them… WHOA…not so quick on the draw there. Where do you read that God told them to wear those clothes? Come on…keep looking…have you found it yet? Of course not, because it IS NOT THERE. God NEVER told Adam and Eve to wear those clothes. He simply, graciously provided them, for when they actually needed them.

A quick, simple analogy:
Suppose you had been raised in Key West, and had never been outside of Florida, and for some reason, you were forced to move to northern Alaska. Would your “Florida” clothing be adequate? How much protection would a skimpy bikini offer at 40 degrees below zero? Of course the answer is obvious…not even in summer. Would you need appropriate clothing for the difference in climate? Of course you would. Do you get my drift?
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But what about us? In 21st-century America, clothing has become so deeply ingrained in our culture that even Bible-believing Christians have believed this myth. The original purpose for clothing was to provide protection from the elements, NOT to dispel the shame of nudity.

Only one question remains…from Genesis 3:11 “And He said, “Who told you that you were naked?” The only remaining creature that wasn’t interviewed was Satan…the Serpent. God knew the answer, and He knew that Satan was the one that told Adam and Eve that they were naked. Satan is called “the father of lies“, and he sure told Adam and Eve a couple of whoppers. The truly sad part is that we are still believing Satan’s second lie…that nakedness brings shame.
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For the true answer to these questions, we must go back to Genesis 1:26-28... “26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.
29 And God said, “See, I have given you every herb that yields seed which is on the face of all the earth, and every tree whose fruit yields seed; to you it shall be for food. 30 Also, to every beast of the earth, to every bird of the air, and to everything that creeps on the earth, in which there is life, I have given every green herb for food”; and it was so. 31 Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.

Do you see it? According to verse 26, we are image-bearers of God, made in His likeness. What does that say about our bodies? In verse 31, God saw everything that he had made, and it wasVERY GOOD“. God liked what He saw then, and nowhere in Scripture does it ever say that He changed His mind. We are STILL image-bearers of God…thus our bodies ARE very good, notused to be“, but ARE.

For a wee bit more perspective, we go finally to Psalm 139:13-16, a Psalm of David, where he says:
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.

If those beautiful words don’t create in us the sense that we are God’s masterpieces, nothing will. We are each a special creation…as special a creation as our first parents, made and autographed by God Himself. Once in a while, God likes a particular blueprint so well that He makes two at the same time – identical-twins. If we are His masterpieces, how can we NOT be made in His image?
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It is high-time Bible-believing Christians start redeeming our culture for God, and start seeing themselves for who they really are…God’s image-bearers. Not shame…dignity. Not ugliness…beauty. I will look at how we distort our image of ourselves in another segment.

Read the Bible…believe the Bible, and allow the Bible to form your cultural views, not visa-versa.

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2 thoughts on “The Creation and the Fall of Mankind

  1. I am a new naturist as recent as two weeks!:) Perhaps, you could explain how naturism furthers the kingdom of God. After confessing to my wife how naturism has brought me in closer relationship with God and delivered me from the power of porn, she agreed to read some articles on naturism. Although, she agrees with the truth, she says that there are more important areas to focus on in furthering God’s kingdom. According to her, naturism focuses on the physical and is inward focused. Can you help?

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    • Truly Biblical naturism brings us to a clearer and more Biblical understand of who we as God’s image-bearers. I believe that understanding will fuel a strong desire to bring the Good News of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to those who don’t know Him. As Christian naturists, we relate on a much higher level to others, because we see them as fellow image-bearers.

      Presenting unbelievers with a “gospel” tainted with the body-shame “doctrine” of most churches and denominations only leads them to an even deeper sense of shame, but it is not the shame of their spiritual bankruptcy.

      You might find my post “The “Shame” of Nakedness” helpful, and I am always delighted to dialogue with, and answer questions from, my readers.

      God bless!
      Steve

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