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IBC Women’s Blog July 5, 2019

IBC Women’s Blog July 5, 2019

Naked and Unashamed By Jodie Montgomery

Genesis 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

Years ago, I thought about stenciling this in my bedroom. I thought the verse summarized our hope regarding marriage, to be naked and unashamed. I mentioned this to an older woman at Bible Study and rethought the stencil. The word “naked” is a “bad” word to many and I decided I probably shouldn’t post it boldly over my bed.

But at our Scripture Time group I realized the beauty of naked and unashamed. The culmination of God’s creation account is Genesis 2:25. In Genesis 3, after the fall, we see the contrast in Adam and Eve’s relationship summed up with “they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.” God responds by asking “Who told you that you were naked?”

To be naked and not ashamed is not just a physical matter. The term describes the complete intimacy that existed in Adam and Eve’s relationship with God and with one another. There was nothing to hide in the relationship. There was no fear, only trust and commitment. Shame is a relationship term. It describes our perception of oneself, our identity, and what we believe others think of us due to something we recognize was foolish on our part. Shame is painful. It isolates when we are created for community.

Nakedness and shame continue to be linked in the Scriptures. We read that some people point out others nakedness and some attempt to cover the nakedness of others. Remember Noah and his sons. The way we handle other people’s nakedness reveals a lot about our own character (Isaiah 58:7, Habakkuk 2:15). Leviticus reveals God’s protective care of the naked. Job acknowledged that before God, Job is naked and yet blessed while men strip others down. In Matthew 25, Christ expresses appreciation for those who cover the naked.

Pastor Edgar reminded me that sin, guilt, shame, and death are bond together. While our guilt can be judiciously handled through confession, repentance, and restitution, our shame may linger as shame is relational. How do we see ourselves?

Righteousness is truly a gift from God. His forgiveness and reminders that we are His children, if in Christ, help us overcome our shame. God Himself, the Lord Jesus Christ, hung naked on a cross and took our shame so that we might have victory over sin and death. Hebrews 12:2-3 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 1 Peter 2:23-25 …and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

The Old Testament prophets knew God could and would cover our nakedness. They prepared a path so that all could be blessed by belief in the Seed of the woman, the Anointed One Who would come and clothe us with salvation. Isaiah 61:10 I will rejoice greatly in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with garments of salvation, He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

2 Corinthians 5:2-4 For indeed in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven,  inasmuch as we, having put it on, will not be found naked. For indeed while we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be unclothed but to be clothed, so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.