The AMI QT Devotionals from September 11-17 are provided by Pastor Jason Sato who serves at OTR in Cincinnati. Jason, a graduate of UC San Diego (B.S.) and Westminster Theological Seminary in California (M.Div.), is married to Jessica, and they have two young children: Jonah and Lily.
Devotional Thoughts for Today
“Naked and Ashamed”
Genesis 3:8-13 (ESV)
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.  But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”  Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
At the beginning, Adam and Eve enjoyed God’s presence. Now, after they have sinned, they try to hide themselves from God. Adam is asked a simple yes or no question: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” In his response, Adam increases his isolation, blaming his wife who he failed to protect and his God who he failed to honor. Likewise, the woman blames the serpent—at least her response actually answers the question God poses to her.
So why do they try to hide from an omnipresent God? Why do they try to mislead an omniscient God? In verse 10, Adam explains that he is afraid. Because of sin, the man and the woman are now naked and ashamed. They cannot bear to be this way, so they hide behind their fig leaves and their excuses.
We, too, cannot bear our shame. We try to be good parents, students, employees, and Christians. But so often our efforts simply expose the gap between our public and private personas. We blame our sin on traffic, the weather, other people, or even God, frightened of what it would mean if we were personally responsible for all of our actions, words, and thoughts. Yet these methods are most successful at deceiving ourselves, less successful at deceiving others, and absolutely unsuccessful at deceiving God. But thankfully, God does not need to be deceived.
God already has an objective and complete knowledge of our sin and nakedness; and rather than send Adam and Eve away in their nakedness, He clothes them in the skins of animals sacrificed for them (Genesis 3:1).
For us, the Father offers us better than animal skins. He offers up the life of His Son, that Jesus might take our sin and we might take Jesus’ righteousness. Apart from Jesus, we all remain naked and ashamed before God, but the Lord Jesus Christ offers to clothe us in His righteousness, to bear our shame, and to bring us back home into His presence.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You for coming, not for the righteous, but for sinners. Neither my excuses nor my spotty righteousness can stand before You. I am naked and ashamed. Clothe me by Your Son, my Righteousness. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 35
Lunch Break Study
Read Psalm 32:1-5 (ESV): Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.  Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.  For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.  For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was dried up as by the heat of summer. Selah  I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
Question to Consider
- What happened to the psalmist when he kept his sins hidden?
- What is the result of not trying to cover our own sins ourselves?
- Who is blessed?
- His bones wasted away and God’s hand was heavy upon him.
- When we do not cover our own sins and instead confess them to the Lord, we receive forgiveness.
- The one who is forgiven and whose sin the Lord does not count against her. In other words, those found to be in Jesus Christ!
Reflect upon your day. When were you tempted to blame others or to reject responsibility for your sin? Take a moment to own all of your words, thoughts, and actions that dishonored God and ask Him for forgiveness. Receive His grace and enjoy His presence.