When tracing any theme through Scripture, it is always wise to check out how it all started. What were God’s original intentions? To do this we have to return to the beginnings. So our Scripture reading today goes right back to revival in the Garden. Except that it wasn’t called “revival” because there was nothing to revive at that stage. No-one had slipped backwards. That comes in this Scripture reading. We find God’s plan for our relationship with him and how that all got messed up in this passage. You may have to read between the lines a little to discern God’s intentions, but I am sure you can see it.
SCRIPTURE: GENESIS 3:6-10
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree [of knowledge of good and evil] was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the Garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the Garden. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the Garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
A lot is made of nakedness in this passage so perhaps we should start there. Up to this point in the narrative, Adam and Eve had been completely naked and completely unashamed. They were not the same and they were certainly different from God, but this had no impact on their relationships. They were open books. Nothing to hide. No shame. No embarrassment.
This certainly applied to the relationship between Adam and Eve, but it also characterised their relationship with God. It appears that God would walk in the Garden and they would share and chat with him. These were special times. Just Adam and Eve and God walking and talking together. They would have learned so much and experienced how deeply God loved them. This was always God’s plan. To have a deep, open, unashamed, loving relationship with his children.
In many ways this is a glimpse of what happens in revival. God restores the intimacy and tenderness of the Garden. We want to be close to God. We want to share with him. We want to walk by his side. We love his presence. We enjoy his freedom. We are saturated with his love. We drink deeply of his wisdom. This is what we are praying for over the next 21 days.
As the Scripture makes clear, Eve and Adam’s disobedience wrecked all this. They thought they could be wise like God and so would not need him around all the time. And all they succeeded in doing was recognising how different and shameful (naked) they were – hence their need to hide from each other (fig leaf coverings) and especially to hide from God. All intimacy was lost at that moment.
Sin continues to have this impact. It does not break our relationship with God which Jesus has achieved for us. But the shame kills our intimacy. So as we will find, confession and repentance are keys to revival, restoration of our closeness to God. Thank goodness our sin does not have to separate us from God’s love and intimacy.
I honestly want to be close to you Lord. I want to share my life with you. I want to be free of shame. I long to drink in your love for me and sense your presence. I dream of walking and talking feely and intimately with you. No shame. This is my heart cry.
PRAYER FOR REVIVAL
We live in a shameful and shame-filled world. Wherever I look there is pain, distress, brokenness, disappointment, arrogance, rebellion, oppression, fear. Our world bears all the marks of life without you Lord. Please bring your hope and healing and peace. We are desperate.