Adam and Eve sinned against God when they ate the fruit of the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil“. As soon as they ate it, they realized that they were naked. They had been naked all of the time before this and didn’t even realize it. It had never hurt their relationship with God before this, so why the sudden change? It was because they now had consciences.
Look what it made them do. They hid from God!
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.
This new knowledge caused them to hide from God, because they now knew they were naked. They covered themselves with fig leaves, but it was not enough. They now realized that God knew everything about their inner most thoughts, and they felt guilty in front of God. This started a trend of man hiding from God. Because he has a conscience—the knowledge that he did wrong—it kills him and his relationship with God.
They covered themselves with fig leaves, and it did not do any good. You could say this is analogous to man trying to cover his nakedness before God with good works. That does not work, either. Let’s see what God did with Adam and Eve to solve this problem with a conscience.
Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”
Just a note: if God is all-knowing (He is), then why did He ask, “Where are you”? God wanted them to confront what they did wrong in His presence. Confession of your sinful state to God is the first step toward relieving a guilty conscience.
10 And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”
11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”
12 And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.”
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Notice how the first reaction was to blame their sin on someone else. They wanted God to think they were victims, not taking responsibility for their actions. Here comes the punishment.
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.
18 Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; vAnd you shall eat the plants of the field;
19By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return.”
Eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil caused all mankind to die. Before this, there was no mention of death. Satan was a liar. It is interesting to note here that the curse is not on Adam and Eve, but upon the ground and the creation.
And the Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.
This is the first time in the Bible that an animal was killed. Blood was spilled so that an animal’s skin could be used to cover the nakedness of mankind. You could say that the animal whose skin was used gave his life for the sin of Adam and Eve. This is prophetical, because from this point on, blood is used as the sacrifice for sin; first the lambs in the Old Testament, and then the final completion of all sacrifices: the life of Jesus Christ. He gave his life for your sins.
When I first became a Christian, I was taught that God hated sin so much that He couldn’t fellowship with sinful man. To look on man, or to have fellowship with him, He had to cover us with the blood of Christ. I am now convinced that it is not God that has the problem, but man. People require a blood sacrifice in order to believe that they have been forgiven. From the first blood sacrifice in the Garden to all of the blood sacrifices in the temple, blood appears to be required for mankind to believe they are forgiven. Man’s guilty conscience is the reason that God had to send Jesus to die on the cross, so that man could and would believe that God loved him.