In Stitches: Leaves and Hides

The clothing industry is a big one (to put it mildly), and many people really enjoy putting together fun and stylish outfits. For our generations, most of us don’t need to make our own clothing, and it’s not always a cost-effective endeavor. Two hundred years ago, you’d either have to pay someone to make clothes for you, or make them yourself. Two thousand years ago, most people likely had one or possibly two sets of clothing only, traded or made by the wearer; shearing the sheep, carding the wool, spinning it into threads, weaving it into a garment…it was a lot more work than driving to the store or clicking “place order” on a website!

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As integral as clothing is in our world, and how styles and fabrics define cultures and societies, it’s easy to forget the reason for our clothing…the Fall.

Let’s turn to Genesis 3:7. We read it last week, as part of the larger story of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin.

Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

We wear clothes to preserve modesty, because of sin. For me at least, it’s weird and uncomfortable and strange to think about clothing as being tied to that. And yet, Scripture makes a point of including this detail of the Fall. Imagine, if you will, what would have happened to Adam and Eve’s fig leaves…the durability of even the most tenaciously sturdy leaves is temporary at best, and short-lived at worst. Theirs was a “quick-fix”.

After detailing the consequences that their sin would bring, we read in Genesis 3:21 that God isn’t going to leave them in their flimsy fig leaves.

And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.

It’s a relatively brief verse, and fairly easy to skip over. But let’s see what digging a little deeper might show us.

Right away, we can see that God is caring for them, providing for their needs before they even know them, and before the needs arise. At this point, Adam and Eve are still in the Garden of Eden, but in the next verses, we see that God sends them out from there. We also see God doing this at the expense of the life of an animal. It points first to the sacrifices that will take place and ultimately to the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. In the aftermath of Adam and Eve’s sin, we see God’s mercy being poured out. In providing for them in spite of their sin, God sets the pattern for the rest of His interaction with humanity.

He cannot ignore sin, because He is just. Because of His mercy, He will not leave us in our sin, because He is love. Even before we could begin to comprehend what it would cost, He had in the works a plan for our salvation.

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God clothed them.

And He clothes us.

We’ll explore that more in the coming week…in the meantime, I’d love to hear in the comments below about your favorite article of clothing and why.

I’ll go first: I love sweaters; they are very comforting to me. In Texas, I don’t get to wear them all year, so for the few months that it’s chillier, I’m so happy to be able to snuggle into a cardigan with a cup of warm coffee or tea and a favorite book!

PS Sorry this post is a day late! Look for today’s post later today! (Thank goodness they’re short, yes? ;))