1. the quality or state of being innocent; freedom from sin or moral wrong.
“And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Genesis 2:25)
“Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 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.” (Genesis 3:7-8)
I remember the night to this day. I was in the seventh grade and spending the night at a friend’s house with some other guys from the youth group at church. We watched an action movie that night and within the fight scenes were a couple of other scenes I was not familiar with in movies. For the first time I observed parts of the female body that I was aware of, but not personally familiar with at a graphic level. Well, this particular movie filled in for me what my experience up to that point lacked in what those parts can look like. And it was one thing, to see it all cut into the process of the movie, it was another when later that night the guys decided to review those key scenes of the film.
I still remember that night. And there are so many other things since that night in the seventh grade that I wish I’d never seen.
Innocence makes me think of ignorance. I know they ideas differ, but they share some similarities.
ig·no·rance noun \ˈig-n(ə-)rən(t)s\
: the state or fact of being ignorant : lack of knowledge, education, or awareness
Before sin entered the world, were Adam and Eve ignorant of sin? Were they innocent of sin? I think no to the first and yes to the second. They were innocent of sin. They were guiltless, and free from any moral wrong. But I don’t think they were ignorant. God had told them not to do something, and to do a number of other things. They understood he is the boss. It was clear that God was the Creator and they were the followers.
They weren’t ignorant of sin– of the ability to do wrong– and they weren’t ignorant of the effect of sin.
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17 ESV)
They knew sin would lead to death. They may not have known how, or when, but God had told them.
Then they disobeyed God, believing a lie that he was holding out on them and didn’t want the best for them. And innocence was lost. They were guilty. And they felt something they had never felt before. Shame.
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 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. (Genesis 3:7-8 ESV)
The hid from God. They had veered from the pathway God had established for them, and the result wasn’t a mind expanding freedom, but rather the opposite. They lost something in their sin. They lost innocence, and as a result they lost their unquestioned trust in God their Creator. They hid from God. And so have we all.