Modesty

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God was not surprised when he found Adam and Eve hiding in the Garden of Eden. After all, how can we hide from God? It is not Santa Claus that knows whether you have been good or bad, it is the omniscient (all-knowing) God who sees every action we take and knows every though that crosses our mind. God was not surprised when Eve was tempted, He was not surprised when Eve ate the forbidden fruit and he was not surprised when Adam followed Eve’s suggestion. God knew that man had sinned and that they now knew of good and evil. God knew that Adam and Eve were naked and hiding. God even knew where they were hiding.

Gen 3:7 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.

When God found them hiding, God also found them in their need. Adam and Eve had made themselves aprons in an attempt to cover themselves. However, their efforts were not enough. The aprons they made for themselves did not cover their nakedness.

Gen 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

When God found them, God killed animals and took the skins of the animals and made coats for Adam and Eve. An apron may only cover from the waist down, the word translated as “coats” from the original Hebrew means “to wrap around” or “to cover.” The coats God made did not just cover their private parts, these coats literally wrapped around them and covered their body.

Omniscience, or being all-knowing, is one aspect of God. We see God’s character when we realize that Adam and Eve could not hide their location or their sin from God. However, this is only one aspect of God’s character. Another aspect of God is His pure sinless nature. As you study the book of Genesis, you quickly see that there are severe consequences for Adam and Eve’s very simple sin. They ate a little fruit and it resulted in God giving them a death sentence. Not only were Adam and Eve sentenced to death, but all of humanity was sentenced to death. That is certainly a harsh penalty for sin. However, God also provided a payment for sin. As a result of sin, God required the shedding of blood to pay for sin. Ultimately, Jesus would become the Lamb who would shed His blood to pay the debt for the sins of Adam and Eve as well as all of mankind. However, many people lived and sinned before Christ shed His blood. How were their sins dealt with? Just as Adam and Eve were physically covered by the skins of animals, the animal’s shed blood was symbolic of the blood Christ would shed for our sins. These coats covered Adam and Eve’s nakedness but more importantly, it covered their sin as well.

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Since we are dealing with modesty, we should define the word modest. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (Fourth Edition, copyright © 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company) defines modesty as, “Reserve or propriety in speech, dress, or behavior.” Noah Webster defined MODEST in the 1828 version of the American Dictionary of the English Language as:

  1. Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man.
  2. Not bold or forward; as a modest maid. The word may be thus used without reference to chastity. — The blushing beauties of a modest maid.
  3. Not loose; not lewd. — Mrs. Ford, the honest woman, the modest wife.
  4. Moderate; not excessive or extreme; not extravagant; as a modest request; modest joy; a modest computation.

Few would argue that a Christian should guard her speech and behavior. However, for many it would seem that modesty has lost its definition. Followers of Christ should also demonstrate God-like character in every aspect of their lives, including their appearance. When you think of modesty, what images come to your mind? Do you think about a woman who is dressed a certain way or do you think about other things? Modesty is revealed in a sense restraint, in not being bold or boastful, in having a sense of chastity. In other words, modesty is much more than just the clothes you wear, modesty is revealing nothing but Christ.

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