Covenants in the Bible
Lesson 02 - Tunics of Skin
Today we are going to study the very first covenant God made with mankind in the Bible. It may be a story that is very familiar to you, but perhaps you have not considered it from a covenant perspective.
Let's read Genesis chapter 3 together.
This is the story of how Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, the Fall, mankind's fall from God's grace. You might ask yourself, "What is the big deal about eating a piece of fruit?" Well, eating fruit was an act of disobedience to the explicit command of God. By choosing to believe the lies of Satan instead of the truth God told them, Adam and Eve introduced sin to the earth and ceded its ownership to Satan (John 14:30; Ephesians 2:2).
Note that after eating the fruit, Adam and Eve knew that they were naked. They tried to cover their nakedness by sewing together coverings made of fig leaves. Yet, in Genesis 2:25, before they sinned, they were naked and were not ashamed. In sinning, Adam and Eve lost the righteousness they had when they were obedient to God.
Despite their coverings, Adam and Eve still felt naked and ashamed and hid themselves when they heard God’s voice calling for them. Their makeshift garments felt like filthy rags in His presence (Isaiah 64:6).
God was greatly grieved by Adam and Eve's sin. He could have destroyed both of them (Romans 6:23) and started over. He could have re-made humanity, but He did not. God still loved Adam and Eve, even though their sin separated them from Him (Isaiah 59:2). God made an unconditional covenant with them (which extended to all of humanity in the future) which is expressed in Genesis 3:15 when he spoke against Satan:
"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head and you shall bruise His heel."
God in His grace promised that a Savior would come to defeat Satan and bring salvation to mankind. This Savior would be a descendant of Adam and Eve.
God ratified this covenant when He made them tunics of skin and clothed them (Genesis 3:21). Where did God get these tunics of skin from? An animal had to die, so that Adam and Eve could be clothed.
God was teaching Adam and Eve a hard lesson about salvation. Someone had to die so that mankind could be saved. Just as Adam and Eve could not cover their nakedness before God despite their best efforts, man cannot achieve righteousness on his own. Only God can cover him with righteousness (Job 24:14; Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:3-5).
Friend, God shared the Gospel message to Adam and Eve! The Gospel message is actually a covenant of redemption made before time began (1 Corinthians 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:9). Jesus Christ would come garbed in sinful humanity to die on a cross for all our sins and break Satan's power over us all forever! (John 3:16; 1 John 3:8)
Adam and Eve now rested in God`s promise to them. They were thankful for God's love and grace for them. They had faith that they would be redeemed in the future. Undoubtedly, Adam and Eve taught their children this Gospel message and shared it with future generations their testimony.
Friend, can you see that the Gospel message is not exclusive to the New Testament, but actually originated in the book of Genesis?