Shame of Nakedness
Before sin entered the world through Adam and Eve’s disobedience, they were naked (ערומים – eyromim) in the garden of Eden and without shame (Gen 2:25). After they rebelled by eating from the fruit of the forbidden tree their eyes were opened and they knew they were naked (Gen 3). The revelation of their nakedness ushered in fear and shame which is why they hid from God (Gen 3:7-10).
They tried in their own human strength to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. But our human ingenuity will never be enough to blot out our sin. So, an animal’s blood was shed—its life instead of theirs– in order for God to cover them with tunics of skin (Gen 3:21).
What’s the BIG DEAL with Nakedness?
Before the Fall man’s nakedness was good, pure and without shame. After the fall it is viewed throughout the word of God as something shameful and needing to be covered. The word most used for nakedness is: ערוה – ervah – referring to the “uncleanness” of exposing our genitalia, sexual contact with forbidden partners, and all the shame that accompanies our sinful behavior.
Noah’s sons covered his nakedness after getting drunk (Gen 9:20-23). Priests were to not let their nakedness be seen (Ex 20:26). Prophets spoke to Israel saying their nakedness was exposed to the surrounding nations through their worship of other gods (Ez 16). Yeshua exhorted the church in Laodicea to buy from Him white garments so that the shame of their nakedness would not be revealed (Rev 3:18).
Alhough the context and meaning of nakedness throughout the bible (mentioned over 40 times) can vary, the repeated point is that both physical and spiritual nakedness is shameful.
Does this mean we should look at our own naked bodies in the mirror with disdain and embarrassment? No way! He created and loves our naked bodies. The issue is, who is allowed to see our naked body? The only place nakedness is morally ok according to God’s word is in the context of a marriage between a man and a woman. (I personally think seeing the same sex naked in a locker room or bath is ok, but if it stirs up lust or bothers your conscience, then it should be avoided).
Calling Evil Good
Even though our nakedness is to be reserved for our spouse only, the world has turned this idea on its head and is exalting nudity and worshipping it. From the global porn industry to nude beaches, the full exposure of a human body is more and more being accepted as normal and ok.
As followers of Yeshua, we need to push back against this deception and have our minds renewed and realigned with Gods word. We are to love what He loves and hate what He hates. Sex outside of marriage is not an option. Pornography is shameful. Yet many are ensnared by lust and won’t let go of abominable activities. Wrong teaching about the grace of God will lead you into lethargy and compromise instead of zeal to fight for purity.
Have to Hate it
I was there myself. As a young man I wasted years filling my mind with dishonorable images telling myself, “it is just a naked body, what’s the big deal?” But an encounter with the fear of the Lord dislodged me from my addiction. My journey of holy hatred towards what He call’s shameful began over a decade ago and I haven’t looked back. Friend, it is possible to, “Flee sexual immorality,” by the grace of God, and we must! (1 Cor 6:18)
The problem is, most of us don’t hate it enough. Our familiarity with the shame of nudity dulls our hearts. We tolerate it. We leave a back door open for its temporary buzz when we feel stressed, frustrated and many other emotions. We think we can fight it on our own. Yet God is orchestrating His timing and way of exposing our secret sin (I am speaking from experience here!).
Want out? Then start by fervently praying for more of the fear of God. Then when you are hungry enough for change get in accountability and use the host of resources on and off line to help win this battle.