6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORD God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14 So the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
and you will eat dust
all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
between you and the woman,
and between your offspring a and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
through painful toil you will eat food from it
all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
and to dust you will return.”

20 Adam named his wife Eve, p because she would become the mother of all the living.
21 The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them
The New International Version. (2011).

The moment they ate the fruit together, Adam and Eve knew something terrible had gone wrong. What had they done? What had they allowed themselves to be talked into? They felt the shame rising from their souls. Their mind, their soul, their whole being knew how wrong this decision had been. Then their eyes were opened. Their innocence had been lost. Their mind knew that they were naked. They tried to cover their nakedness with fig leaves. They sewed these fig leaves into an apron and girded it about the loins like a belt.  It didn’t work. The belt revealed the truth. Each knew the other was still naked. They knew they themselves were still naked. They were at a loss. They had no idea how to cover their nakedness. They had no idea how to cover their shame and guilt. Then, at the same time, they heard His presence. LORD GOD was here. He kept His appointment with them. He began walking toward them during the cool of the day. They tried to hide from Him. They heard His call. “Where are you Adam?” LORD GOD called out to him. With eyes downcast, and shame written all over his countenance, “I heard the sound of You walking in the garden. I was afraid to be in Your presence because I was naked, so I hid from You,” Adam still spoke with downcast eyes. God asked Adam, “Who told you you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” God knew the answer to both questions. Nothing happens in this garden that God does not have knowledge of. With His omnipresence He observed all that had transpired between the serpent and Eve, and Eve and her husband Adam. And with His omnipotence He already knew the answer Adam would give to Him. He could see the blame Adam would lay at Eve’s feet and subsequently the blame Adam would put at His feet. “The woman whom You gave to be with me – she gave me fruit from the tree. You are the One who gave her to me so I ate,” Adam said pointing a blaming finger at Eve. So the LORD GOD turned to the woman. “What is this you have done?” Eve decided to play the blame game. She pointed to the serpent and said, “The serpent cheated me and deceived me and I ate.” She tried with her voice to regain some of her innocence she had lost. The LORD GOD knew and had always known where the true blame lay. But He would not excuse Adam and Eve from succumbing to the temptation. He then turned to the serpent. “Because you have done this, you are cursed above all. Now fall before me. From now on you will slither on your belly. I take away the legs you have grown accustomed to. You stood upright to beguile these two, now you will crawl on your belly for all the days of this world. What more I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her Offspring. He will bruise and tread your head underfoot. You will lie in wait and bruise His heel. You tried to take control of this garden. But by my wrath you see I AM in control of all this.” After these words the serpent fell on his belly and slithered off waiting for another chance. The LORD GOD then turned his discipline on Eve. “I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing. With spasms of distress you will bring forth children. You will want to rule your husband but he will rule over you.” And to Adam God said, “Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you saying you shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you and your disobedience. You will now toil this soil with sorrow. Thorns and thistles will bud forth now from this ground. With blood sweat and tears this land will provide for you for all the days of your life. You will return to the ground. For from dust you were made and from dust you will return.” God pronounced all these judgements with great sadness in His heart. But after the sadness and the show of His holiness, His mercy came beaming through. And for the first time, blood flowed for the forgiveness of sin. God took one of the lambs caught in a thorn bush, and slit its throat. Blood flowed to the ground He had just cursed, and He made garments of skin for Adam and Eve and He clothed them. He put these lamb skins on them to cover their nakedness and shame. What their handmade fig leaf apron couldn’t cover, God’s innocent lamb clothing did. The Son participated in this act of mercy. He knew it would one day be His blood poured out. He knew He would be the One to be caught up in a crown of thorns. It would be His blood that would one day provide robes of righteousness for man. So mercy poured forth from holiness and righteousness poured forth from grace all in a single act.