ODJ: Branded by Shame

February 18, 2018 


At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves (v.7). 

READ: Genesis 3:1-24 

When our pastor was a young man, he accidentally defaced a much-loved dining room table. Beautifully crafted, it had been in the family for generations, but it was left with an ugly mark when he accidentally placed a piping-hot dish directly on it. Although his parents forgave him, he was overcome with shame. Years later when he saw an ad for a furniture repair specialist, he got the table fixed. Although he’d been forgiven, the sting of shame only faded once the mark on the table had been removed by the skillful hand of a master.

Shame is a feeling Adam and Eve had never experienced. They had known only an intimate fellowship with their Maker. But when Satan tricked them into tasting the forbidden fruit, they were overcome by the unfamiliar and uncomfortable feelings of guilt and shame (Genesis 3:1-6). “At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves” (v.7).

For the first time, horrible feelings caused them to retreat and seek to hide from God (vv.8-10). Perhaps also for the first time, they blamed others for their actions (vv.11-13). But the damage had been done: the ugly stain of sin was forever branded on humanity. As the heartbroken couple reeled from a damaged relationship with their Creator and banishment from their beloved home, their Master was the only One who could restore them (vv.14-24).

And He did. “For the sin of this one man, Adam, brought death to many. But even greater is God’s wonderful grace and his gift of forgiveness to many through this other man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:15).

No matter what you’ve done or how ashamed you feel, He can forgive and heal you.

—Ruth O’Reilly-Smith

365-day plan: Numbers 12:1-16

MORE
Read Romans 5:1-11 and be encouraged by the story of God’s great mercy and kindness towards us. 
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What has left you recoiling in shame? Have you surrendered it to Jesus? Why can He alone remove the marks of sin and shame?