In Leviticus 18, Moses, the same author who gave us the Fall narrative in Genesis, graphically documents the latent destructive power possessed in post-Fall nakedness. Moses’ account of the perverting influence of nakedness reads like the darkest parts of Internet porn. It’s all there—adultery, incest, homosexuality, pedophilia, and even bestiality. Regarding these vices, God adds this warning to His people:
“Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled. For the land has become defiled, therefore I have brought its punishment upon it, so the land has spewed out its inhabitants” (Leviticus 18:24-25).
Some 3,450 years later, time hasn’t made things any better. Just look at the stats. The question is “What can we do?” This is the challenge I will take up in this final post. We will search the Fall narrative to find antidotes against the Serpent’s venomous use of nakedness to destroy us and to rob us of enjoying our richest treasure—God.
1. Acknowledge that You are in a Mortal Battle (Genesis 3:15)
In Genesis 3:15, God outlines the course of all of human history. He foretells that it will be a history of conflict—better yet, war—a spiritual war with Satan. “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed.” The New Testament says the very same thing when it declares “our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:11). The Christian who fails to read this memo will have little hope of living a victorious life.
Immediately after the Fall narrative, Genesis 4 paints the grim picture of what is at stake in this war—life. Satan and his hosts of demons want to destroy the people of God! Today they want to destroy our churches, our marriages, our young adults, our children, our enjoyment of God. The NT again affirms this fact. “Cain, who was of the evil one and slew his brother. And for what reason did he slay him? Because his deeds were evil, and his brother’s were righteous” (1 John 3:12).
The naked truth is whether you like conflict or not, you are in a real war with one of the most powerful spiritual beings ever created, and he has at his disposal people, including beautiful immoral people, and he can use them to attack us.
2. Believe in God and All of His Promises (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:17)
God told the man, “From the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:17). The Serpent told the woman, “You surely will not die!” (Genesis 3:4). The woman believed the Serpent and ate, and the man obeyed the woman and ate (Genesis 3:17).
Satan wants to blind our eyes to the glory of God in the face of Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4) so that He appears unlovable and untrustworthy. He then dresses (or undresses in this case) sin so that it appears more thrilling than loving God. To counter this attack, we must pray like Moses prayed: for God to open our eyes to the fullness of the beauty of His glory. “I pray You, show me Your glory!” (Exodus 33:18). By faith we must believe that God is all we need (Psalm 63:3). He is enough, and wonderfully more satisfying than even nakedness. To resist the powerful enticement of sexual sin, we need to keep our longings filled with God’s love for us (Romans 5:5). This is where Adam failed, and this is how we win.
We overcome by growing in fear of God (Genesis 22:12), cultivating our faith in God (15:6), and deepening our love for God (Deuteronomy 6:5). It is a love that fears God that guarded Joseph from sexual sin (Genesis 39:9). Rather than hiding in faithless fear, it is a faith that fears God that draws sinners to Him for forgiveness when we fail (Psalm 130:4). It is a fear of God that dreads displeasing Him enough to go to any lengths to resist sexual temptation (Matthew 5:29-30). It is wisdom that comes from fearing God that motivates a man or woman to stay far away from the flames of seduction (Proverbs 2:5, 16). Wisdom is “a tree of life to those who take hold of her” (Proverbs 3:18), and she will “deliver you from the forbidden woman” (Proverbs 2:16, ESV).
3. Cling to the Savior’s Cross-Earned Victory (Genesis 3:15b)
Shining through the darkness of the Fall, God flashed a ray of hope, foretelling the future fall of the Serpent by the coming of another man. To the Serpent, God said, “He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel” (Genesis 3:15b). While the serpent used a naked woman to entice the man to fall, God will use the woman to bring another man who will deliver the death blow to the serpent’s head. The NT makes Jesus’ mission to crush the evil serpent central to His coming: “. . . for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b, cp. Hebrews 2:14-15).
The cross of Jesus was His coronation as Lord over all. God exalted Him far above all satanic and demonic powers in this age and the age to come and put them all under His feet (Ephesians 1:18-22; Colossians 2:14-15). The Serpent who enslaves his victims in sin, has been subdued by the Liberator (Matthew 12:28-29) who empowers all who believe in Him to live in righteousness.
Yes, we are still in a real war, for the subdued Serpent’s head will not be crushed until the end of the age (Revelation 20:2-3). Yes, there are real Christian causalities. But for every believer, we have armor (Ephesians 6:11); we have weapons (2 Corinthians 10:4); we have power through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:16); we have the Victor on our side (1 John 2:1)! We can stand against Satan (Ephesians 6:10), but we must not fight in our own strength. Our fight and victory must come through our faith in Christ (1 John 5:5).
4. Fight to Win (Genesis 4:25-26)
Remember how the serpent lured righteous Adam away from God by his naked wife. Remember how strong Sampson lost his power by lying on Delilah’s lap. Remember how wise Solomon’s many wives enticed him to foolishly bow down before the false gods. Remember how warring king David was defeated by his lust for a naked neighbor’s wife. Remember these fallen heroes and acknowledge that the battle you are in is hard. Remember these men, and also remember this: Remember how the Fall narrative ends—with the woman giving birth to God fearing men who “began to call upon the name of the LORD” (Genesis 4:26).
Never stop clinging to the Christ. He will make a way of escape for you and strengthen you to stand. He will lead you to victory over the Serpent and all of his schemes. Fill your minds with these truths. Allow them to uncover the evil side of nakedness and flee from it. If you have fallen, get back up and get back in the fight. If you are standing, keep standing and don’t give in. Keep fighting. Keep fighting. Keep fighting! Jesus our war-like King promises to lead you to victory!