Genesis 3:7–“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.” [HCSB]
Maybe it’s because I’m preaching about sex these days, but today as I read this verse during my devotions, I was struck by the fact that the Man’s and the Woman’s first impulse after the First Sin was to cover their genitalia. Yes, of course, I have always recognized that their first impulse was in a general sense to hide themselves from each other. But it was “loin cloths” [HCSB] that they used to accomplish this hiding.
Why not masks? Why not shoes? Why did their genitals rather than their faces or their feet or their left hands? It was, I think, because it was the deepest point of intimacy that was broken at the moment of the fall into sin. And the deepest and most delicate aspect of their relational being was their sexuality. And further, and perhaps more important still, it was in some sense that this sexual aspect of their being was tied most closely to the expression of the image of God in them.
Unquestionably, the image of God in human beings is expressed in relationalness, in human community, and especially in the
profound relationship of sexual intimacy in marriage. I say that the image of God is “expressed” in these relational contexts, not that the image of God “is” these relationships. I’m convinced that that distinction is important, though I will have to wait till later to sort out just how that might be so. Maybe we can do that together.
©2012 Gary A. Chorpenning; all rights reserved.
- Intimacy in Marriage: What’s Your Sexual Type? | Christian … (christianpsychologyresources.com)
10 thoughts on “Bible Note #8–Genesis 3:7–Loin Cloths, the Fall, & Sex”
You said, ” I say that the image of God is “expressed” in these relational contexts, not that the image of God “is” these relationships. I’m convinced that that distinction is important,” In trying to see how these relationships are an expression of God – Let’s see. What about this? God is whole. There is nothing missing in who He is. When He made His creation an image of Himself, He had to create man and woman and a way for them to be connected before He was satisfied with His image being complete and “very good”. The qualities of the man and the qualities of the woman He created were an expression of His wholeness. So, the expression of His wholeness is made real when the two are connected to become one. This explains are longing to be made whole which can only happen when these two parts of who He is – male and female – are connected and therefore complete. – does this sound right to you?
So after the first sin, we could no longer be an image of who God is because He is without sin. That is when the separation occurred. So the man and woman covered themselves because they became aware that they could no longer be an expression of who God is. They are ashamed and God longs for His creation to be whole again which can only happen when they are made clean and redeemed from their sin. So, God sent His son (part of Himself) as a sacrifice to make them clean. Once they have become clean through the grace and power of Christ they can again be an expression of who God is – wholeness.
Actually, theologians, in our tradition anyway, generally insist that the image of God in us has not been lost but has been profoundly damaged and distorted.
Praise God that it has not been lost and that He has made a way for us to be healed and made whole.
So are you saying that the act of man and woman becoming one flesh in the way God intended could be an accurate expression of who God is which is what makes it so profound?
And then taking my thinking further…Woman was created out of man/part of him to be a help mate. To me this could be thought of in the wholeness of the image of God in relation to the Trinity. In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and was with God. The Trinity as I understand it, is the fullness of God in a relatedness between the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. These three persons of the Godhead are helpmates maybe? The Father needed the Son (fully God and fully man) to come to earth. The Son needed the Holy Spirit to stay with His people in His place after He ascended back into Heaven to be with the Father. In this way they are a collaboration for a purpose, as we, the body of Christ, are a collaboration for a purpose – to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.
Yes, Heather, I think you right on it. The parallel between the “become one flesh” of human sexuality and the trinitarian relatedness of the Godhead is on target.
Later in your comment you use the word “need” as a predicate with “God.” That is theologically problematic. To speak of the infinite, omnipotent God as needing anything results in some logical difficulties. But your point is, again, quite right. There is an important sense in which the internal relationships of the Trinity are an essential element of the completeness of God.
Maybe in place of the word “needed” I could say The Father used His form as The Son to come to Earth and The Son used His form as The Spirit to remain with and inhabit His people. ?