Awaken Day 4: Naked and Vulnerable

Sometimes we wake up to realize that we’ve been exposed in a way that we did not intend, just like Noah did.  In this exposure we fear that we can no longer be both known in our sin and loved as we are.  We feel naked and ashamed and often wish we could undo the exposure and take back that part of ourselves that was given away unbeknownst to us.  We look around for our covers, but they act only as a poor barrier to the intimate knowledge of who we really are.

When Adam and Eve sinned, first their eyes were opened.  They became aware.  They woke up to truth about themselves.  And we must wake up to truth as well.  Then they realized that they were naked.  Although they had always been naked, never before had it occurred to them.  Because they became aware, it is in our nature to cover up.  You cannot “unknow” something you know, and that is why this knowing is passed down to us.  It is now inherently who we are.

After listening to Tim Keller’s sermon about “Nakedness and the Holiness of God,” Lisa Velthouse says in her memoir:

The word naked was originally understood to mean “known.”  Keller says that in the beginning Adam and Eve had no fear of being known or revealed – not to themselves, not to each other, not to God.  Everything felt worthy of being known, so honesty with others felt okay.  But in becoming people whose actions no longer matched God’s desires for them, Adam and Eve became afraid of being fully seen.  They became vulnerable; they didn’t want to be known for what they really were, and their first inclination was to take cover.  Suddenly the idea of total exposure to God and to anyone else seemed unthinkable.  Sin was the problem, and feeling exposed was the first symptom.  This is a common order of things.[1]

Often we cover up because we do not want to be known as we really are.

In Tim Keller’s sermon “Nakedness and the Holiness of God,” referenced by the book I just quoted, I learned that nakedness represents vulnerability. [2]

Just like with Adam and Eve, God demands vulnerability and repentance to bring us into a right relationship with Himself.  So as a parent who questions her child when she’s found him/her doing something he/she should not have, He questions them to bring them into a place of repentance.  Then He lovingly disciplines them and gives them the proper consequences.  Because fig leaves were inadequate, God saw their need for an adequate cover, and made them garments of skin.

I wonder how Noah would have reacted had Ham walked in on him in his passed out drunken state under the covers.  I am guessing his blanket would have been just as inadequate as Adam’s fig leaves.  Noah would have still been just as guilty of wrongdoing with or without his own covers.

We often read about Adam and Eve’s consequences for sin with fear and trepidation because we don’t see the complete picture.  However, God acts very lovingly and gently toward them in this passage.  He sees their sinful state, and He doesn’t want them to remain in it.  He does not want fellowship with them to be broken.  He is motivated by His love for them and by His own glory.

When Ham uncovered Noah’s sin, the fellowship between the two of them was broken.  He did not act out of love for his father, and in turn Noah cursed him.  Most likely, he knew that Ham did not have a heart seeking wholeheartedly after God.

It seems Ham must have been unwilling to repent to restore fellowship with his father.  He wanted the power that he gained over his father in exposing him.

Unlike Ham, Adam and Eve give us the proper example.  They had to again trust Him with their real selves and be vulnerable.  2 Corinthians 3:16-18 says, “But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  We must wake up naked before the Lord and as His gift, He covers our vulnerability.



[1] Velthouse, Lisa.  “Craving Grace.”

[2] Keller, Timothy.  “Nakedness and the Holiness of God”

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Comments

  1. Hi Jaime,

    How are you? Great thoughts …so true…when we are vulnerable and honest with God about who we really are, then we experience His grace and forgiveness…need to remind myself of that…oh, only constantly…how are you?

    I am praying for wisdom re: a decision…feeling a little stressed, and reminding myself God is in control…

    Blessings to you :)

    • I love that when you ask me, “how are you?” you sincerely mean it and want to know how I really am. I am good for the most part. Seeking God and trying to listen to His voice above all others, and walk in sincere faith, knowing He is the provider of all my needs, but also feeling a little weak in some areas – like taking a step of faith in a decision too. Trusting people. My family is good right now, but it has its ups and downs. We seem to be settling in though.

      I will pray for you to have wisdom regarding your decision. :) Blessings to you as well.

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