“And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them.” Genesis 3:21
By this time Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit that God told them not to eat. Disobedience to God had entered the world. Humans committed the first crime of claiming to know better than God and showed it in their actions. The ramifications of their disobedience caused separation between the man and the woman, humans and nature, and humans with God.
I doubt they realized the full depth of their actions. I don’t think the first man and woman were aware of the concept of adultery or cheating on their taxes. Yet, since that time sin, disobedience, has unfolded into so many different forms.
I am also certain that Adam and Eve were very afraid. This is stated in them running away from God for doing wrong, but they were also afraid because of the consequences of their sin. The consequences that God told them were very freighting, but also fear of the unknown. They were afraid of something they’ve never experienced before. It was a life where they didn’t walk with God and a life of increased pain and labor.
Yet, in their fear, God had compassion on them and made them clothes. Nice clothes; better than fig leaves. Whether you see God as angry or remorseful as He told Adam and Eve the consequences of their sin, it doesn’t matter, because in whatever state He was in, He was compassionate and made Adam and Eve clothes amidst their great fear.
This was the character of God since the beginning of man, and it has not changed since. Tim Keller points to this verse saying that since the beginning God has set the example that we should also be compassionate as God’s children.
Compassionate may seem strange considering that God asked for the complete destruction of the Canaanites, but remember God gave them 400 years to repent (Genesis 15:13-16). Also the Canaanite people were known for child sacrifices, bestiality, and the murdering of their elderly because they served no purpose to society.
I partly write this to remind us that God is compassionate so we should be too. I primarily write this to remind all of us that God is compassionate regardless of what our circumstances say. As the nation goes into political and social turmoil, it’s important to remember that God is compassionate. Even amongst the consequences of our bad decisions, He is compassionate. Even though we think we know better than Him with questioning His decrees or the promises He makes about Himself, He is still humble enough to make us clothes.