The public school system abhorred and revered by many at the same time. During my years of mandatory attendance, I was one of the former. Some had a wonderful experience and went on to advanced placement programs. Others, unfortunately (fortunately) went on to escape with a diploma and a future of blue collar jobs or manual labor. Although I could lament my personal experience ad-nauseum, I will spare you and cut to the chase.
During my school years there were two recurring dreams. One of them was the dreaded waking up and going to school, coming home, and being relieved it was all over. Then the alarm would go off and I would quickly realize that it was actually time to get ready for classes and I was only dreaming. Oh the despair! It felt like two days combined into one.
The second dream occurred in a rather similar fashion but was more of a nightmare. I recall awaking to the sound of the alarm, and then mysteriously appearing in the school hallways during class change. This was not so bad, as I usually enjoyed the real-life experience where we got to catch up with friends, chat with girls, and decide whether or not we would cut out to McD’s for lunch or not. But the dream itself was devoid of all the pleasantries of school social time. Still in a full state of dreamlike reality, I would gaze down and realize that I had only come to school in a towel, or my underwear. Yes, even tighty-whiteys. POOF! Then I would wake up, and it would be time for the real school day to begin. Rest assured, I remembered to be fully clothed before leaving home!
So as you are asking why am I reminiscing about the days of old and telling you my underwear stories, let me tell you what brought all this to mind!
Gen 3:10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
So what exactly is it about being naked that brings shame to Adam? Adam’s situation is due to his own disobedience. Sinfully, he undermined the instructions of YWH, ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and now sought to skirt admission by blaming his shame on his nakedness. The author of Genesis tells us previously,
Gen 2:25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
A closer look at the wording in this account demonstrates that there was no shame in being naked or in this case, unclothed. Genesis 3:10 demonstrates that Adam’s nakedness is being found “stripped” of a “covering.” I would assert this nakedness is now revealed to Adam as being shameful because he is no longer wearing “innocence.” Adam thought more of his particular consequences than the actual sin he had committed. Hiding himself behind the covering of fig leaves, Adam was still ashamed of his nakedness before the presence of YWH. Adam could not stand to face YWH alone in repentant confession, but gave in to alternate measures, found a scapegoat, blamed his wife, and she in turn points the finger at the serpent. Both were guilty for their own actions, and both stood uncovered before YWH, with nothing to cover their transgressions.
Job 31:33 (KJV) If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding mine iniquity in my bosom…
As comedic it might seem, my dreams of arriving at school in my skivvies pale in comparison to the shame demonstrated by true nakedness. By being stripped of innocence, virtue, and a right position before YWH all is laid bare and the true state of our spirit is revealed to him.
Clothing becomes irrelevant. My shame in my dreams was related to the perception people had of my appearance. My ego was affected by the embarrassment that would be experienced hearing the cruel words of my teenage peers. But Adam experienced shame because he knew that the jig was up. He had been caught, and now he had to answer to the one who already knows what is in our hearts.
Heb 4:13 And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
Psa 139:11-12 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” (12) even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you
Although our own culture cannot decide on whether the exposure of human flesh is acceptable or shameful, all of mankind will soon stand naked and exposed before the throne of YWH. It is on that day that true nakedness will confirm that self-deception is fruitless. Hemlines, billboards, and showing up to school in underwear will no longer be of concern. Only the exposure of our personal transgressions before YWH will free us from shame on the day of our judgment.
We must place ourselves in the care of the Son of Man, the King of Kings, the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, our Elder Brother.
Heb 4:14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. (15) For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
“The veil of night is no disguise,
No screen from thy all-searching eyes;
Thy hands can seize thy foes as soon.
Thro’ midnight shades as blazing noon.”
– Albert Barnes