The Bible is littered with the most extraordinary sentences ever written.
“Now the Lord had arranged for a great fish to swallow Jonah. And Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights.” – Jonah 1:17
“Then the Lord gave the donkey the ability to speak. ‘What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?’ it asked Balaam.” – Numbers 22:28
“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.’” – Ruth 1:16
“As they stoned him, Stephen prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’ He fell to his knees, shouting, ‘Lord, don’t charge them with this sin!’ And with that, he died.” – Act 7:59-60
And love letters from God…
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8:38-39
And as powerful and implausible as some of those statements are, none may be as mind-scratching, profound, and encouraging as Genesis 3:21. Let me set the stage.
Genesis, of course, begins with God creating all of life. Starting with light and culminating with man, God takes six days to make everything out of nothing.
Time and space. Nanoparticles and galaxies.
Seasons and climates. Deserts and oceans. Valleys and mountains.
Lions and lambs. Fish and fowl.
Heartbeats and brainwaves. Neurons and senses. Eyelashes and fingernails.
Anything and everything in the natural world, his idea and his doing.
From the Sea of Tranquility to The Sea of Galilee.
From the fuzz of Lamb’s Ear to the nettle of cactus.
From the howl of the wind to the howl of the wolf.
The icy moons of Saturn and the solar flares of the sun.
Laws of physics. Laws of matter. Laws of thermodynamics.
Every element. Every species. Every cell.
Every reaction, every response, and every process in all of nature, everywhere.
God created every… thing.
In six days, God spoke the universe into existence. He gave life to the lifeless, motion to the motionless, matter to the vacuous nothing. A perfect creation from the perfect Creator.
And when He was finished, all that He made was good.
All except for man. Man was very good.
He did all that and had but one rule: do not eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
As we know, Adam and Eve sinned against God. They had the world at their disposal and it wasn’t enough. There was only one thing, ONE THING, they could not do, and they did it.
The consequence? They broke the world.
All creation now cursed. All that perfection now ruined. Immaculate now defective. Their sin rippled in magnitudes that forever changed everything.
And what does God do after explaining what would happen because of their sin? Enter what may be the most staggering verse in all of Scripture.
Genesis 3:21 says, “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
Read it again: “And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.”
Think about that for a moment. Adam and Eve directly disobeyed God and unleashed irreversible devastation on the earth and a spiritual plague for all mankind.
And what does God do?
He makes clothes for them.
He responds in mercy. They’re naked and ashamed and God has compassion for them. He makes coverings for them from animal skins, animals He had only created a few days prior.
Adam and Eve wrecked it all, for everyone, for all time. Yet God still loved them and tended to their needs.
You think there’s something in your life God can’t forgive? You think your sin is too big for God? I guarantee you haven’t out-sinned Adam and Eve.
Yet God still loves you and God still provides for you.
Friend, if you’re struggling with your fitness (or some other area of your life) and you think God could never help, or doesn’t care, or won’t forgive, isn’t Genesis 3:21 evidence to the contrary?
Maybe you’re consistently distracted by the serpent, quick to buy whatever lies he’s selling.
Maybe you’re reluctant to surrender your fitness to Him.
Maybe you think you deserve to be unfit.
Our gracious God has merciful hands. They’re strong enough to carry you, gentle enough to comfort you, and loving enough to forgive you.
The Father has given us His Word to encourage us, His Son to save us, and the Holy Spirit to live in us and through us.
You no longer need to be ashamed. You no longer need to be afraid. You no longer need to hide.
For out of His endless mercy, the Lord has clothed us in garments of victory, salvation, and freedom!
Live in this truth and your life can change forever.