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Guilt and Shame

Guilt and Shame

Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God. Genesis 3:8

Read Genesis 3:7-8

Sometimes a large cloud suddenly blocks the rays of the sun. The bright sunshine evaporates and a cold blast can be felt. Something similar, only much worse, happened between verses six and seven of Genesis 3. Peace was suddenly gone; respite of soul vanished; loving harmony disappeared as well. Sin made an entrance into man’s life. What the devil had promised was immediately forgotten. He had portrayed similarity to God; instead, a dark abyss opened up. Adam and Eve never could have thought how terrible it would be to know both good and evil (Gen. 3:5). As a result of our fall, no man knows how to turn back the clock—to turn from evil to good.

Consider what happened next: while they experienced the consequences of their sin, namely, nakedness, defenselessness and vulnerability, Adam and Eve hid themselves. Perhaps that seems rather childish, but at the same time their actions reveal a lot. Moments earlier, they had no reason to hide from God. Now suddenly they were filled with anguish and fear, afraid of the punishment they deserved, so they tried to conceal themselves from God’s holy gaze.

Perhaps you can associate with this experience. However, to hide from God is impossible. One of the main things the Holy Spirit does when He works in the heart of a sinner is to teach him that concealment is impossible. Amazingly, a sinner who first tried to hide himself then begins to pray that God would discern the thoughts of his heart. Has that also become your prayer?

Question: In what ways do you try to hide from God?

Psalter 384:1, 5 (based on Psalm 139) O Lord, my inmost heart and thought Thy searching eye doth see; Where’er I rest, where’er I go, My ways are known to Thee. Search me, O God, and know my heart, Try me, my thoughts to know; O lead me, if in sin I stray, In paths of life to go.


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