Monday, February 16, 2015

Prickly Leaves

In a meeting recently, Glen told the story of how when he was a young boy he used to love to play in the fig trees on his grandparent's farm.  He would play inside the sheltering limbs of the tree, pretending it to be his fort.  The fun of the play, however, was offset by the itching caused by the fuzz on the fig leaves.

Immediately I thought of Adam and Eve's feeble attempt to cover their sin in disobeying God:

"And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.  And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.  And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden." Genesis 3:5-8.)

Adam and Eve thought they were doing something that would be adequate to cover their sin by sewing the fig leaves together.  Imagine their surprise when the fuzzy fig leaves began to prickle their delicate skin.  They had made the best they could, but it was not good enough, so they felt the need to hide from the Lord.

Isn't that true of us, as well?  Whenever we strike out in our own path, separate from the will of the Lord, we find ourselves trying to sew aprons of fig leaves.  We think that we can do something good enough so that we can once again have fellowship with the Lord.  When we realize that even our very best "comes short of the glory of God" we, like Adam and Eve, tend to try to hide from the Lord.  And this, too, is futile.  The fruits of our sins prickle us and remind us of our need for mercy and forgiveness.    

There is only one answer to sin and that is belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.  Not only for our salvation, but for every moment of every day.  He alone is "the Way, the Truth and the Life."  Instead of hiding from our Lord (as if we could,) let us fall on our faces before Him in humility and say the same thing about our sin as He does.  Let us accept His heart of mercy and forgiveness and rise up to walk "in righteousness and true holiness."

"Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, 
and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage?  
He retaineth not His anger for ever, 
because He delighteth in mercy."
Micah 7:18

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