Why Do I Do This?


Why do I do this? "The Bible is like a telescope. If you look through it you can see worlds beyond, but if you look at it, you see only the telescope."-- Anon. I am learning to look through it.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Ancient Art of Hiding

Hiding is the second oldest sin in the history of the world ̧a sin that is the consequence of the first one ̧disobedience.
Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the fruit that they were not allowed to eat. Before eating that they were naked but were not ashamed of their nakedness (Gen 2:25). When they disobeyed God by eating the fruit that God forbade them to eat they realised their nakedness and were ashamed of it. The Bible says,
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. (Gen 2:7̆ ESV).
Shame was a consequence of the sin of disobedience. We go into hiding as Adam and Eve did because we are ashamed of our disobedience. In this case of Adam and Eve they tried to hide their nakedness from each other. They never had to do that before they committed sin. Before sinning they were naked but were not ashamed; but after sin they did not become naked but were ashamed of their nakedness. They never had to hide their private parts from each other since they were not ashamed of it. Sin brought shame into the life of humans so ̧they started hiding from each other.
This act of making something to cover their nakedness with fig-leaves is symbolic of human attempt to hide our shame from each other. This act of hiding from each other is a game that the descendants of Adam and Eve (including you and me) have perfected over the years. This explains why spouses hide many aspects of their lives from each other. Many marriages wreck because spouses play this game until the inevitable happens. Parents hide their lives from their children by hiding behind an ideal past that they never had. Children hide their lives from parents too by pretending to be what they are not yet. Many pastors have hidden their shameful lives from their congregation and when they had to come out of their hiding ̧ their marriages are broken, children are shattered, and congregation fall apart.
Sin produces shame ̧shame sends us to hiding, and hiding makes us continue in sin. This chain has to be broken.
Humans not only hide from each other but from God too. That is the second act in the drama of hiding. The write of Genesis tells us that
And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Gen 3:8 ESV).
What they hid from each other is their shame but from God they tried to hide themselves. Why do people deny God? I have often found that most people who deny God have no philosophical justifications except their own sense of guilt. Their way of dealing with sin is to deny that God doesn't exist or doesn't matter. This is vividly protrayed in Psalm 14/53.
The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.' They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good. (Ṗsa 14:1 ESV).
'Saying in his heart' is an attempt to convince oneself. The two sentences of the above verse are connected as a bridge that has two-way traffic. The denial of God is the result of their corruption, at the same time it is the denial that leads to corruption as well.
God is merciful and kind ̧but he can deal with our shame only if we can come out of our hiding into the open. When we come out to the open then he deals with our sins. In the case of Adam and Eve, he points out that the human attempt to hide from each other is inadequate. However ̧there is a divine solution which involves a sacrifice. The writer of Genesis only knew that the solution to the human problem is a sacrifice of an animal. Many Christian interpreters see here an indication of Christ's sacrifice on the cross.
God demands us to admit what has gone wrong in our lives. This is what God did when he called out to Adam ̧'Where are you?' God knew where he was and what he has done but by this God was demanding an admission from Adam. God want Adam to acknowledge what he has done and thus come out of his moral hiding.