Scripture: They heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the evening and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord…But the LORD God called to them and said “Where are you?” ~ Genesis 3:8-9
Theological Thought: It is generally agreed when discussing this passage that our Lord is not actually ignorant of Adam and Eve’s location, nor is he ignorant of what has happened. Rather he asks the question as an invitation for Adam and Eve to engage with Him and continue in community. It is very similar to when God poses the question “where is your brother?” to Cain in chapter 4 – it is not out of ignorance that God seeks information, but out of love that God invites sinners to engage with Him. cf Mark 2:17
Reflection: I do not have the words necessary to express how joyful I am to serve a God that seeks men. You see, when I fail, when I sin and fall away from what I know is the right and Godly path, I ashamed. It doesn’t matter if there is no condemnation for us who are in Christ Jesus, it doesn’t matter if I am free from sin and shame, when I screw up, I want to hide. Like Adam and Eve in the garden, I don’t just see my sin as something I want to deal with, but my sin highlights every single other thing that is wrong with me. My sin doesn’t just stain me, it perches atop of my shoulder shouting “You think I’m bad? Did you know what else this guy did?” One sin does not stand by itself but stands at the head of an army of evil and wickedness that stretches back through my history (which I can assure you is long and torrid). And at such a time I can barely think about reading the bible let alone approaching the throne of God. I can’t think about inviting Jesus into my every day when I parade around like a poster child for the flesh. How then could I possibly engage with my Lord? With all the commandments on the importance of cleanliness when coming before God, with all the admonishments to be sinless in the eyes of God – I mean have you read psalm 15? “O Lord, Who may abide in your tent…Those who walk blamelessly and do what is right.” I find myself wholly incapable of coming before my Lord when I am in the throes of sin. Even in the aftermath I can’t seem to find my feet enough to walk to God. But thank the Lord, HE comes to me. He doesn’t require me to be perfect, He doesn’t sit on his lofty throne and wait for me to show up. HE come to ME. Jesus descended from on high to be with ME. He lowered himself to get close to me and to engage with me, and to invite me into communion with him right here, from where I am.
Prayer: Lord, I feel far from you. I feel ashamed and tired and lost. I feel like a disappointment and failure, and I feel like I must run and hide from you. I don’t understand how you can love me, but I know that you do. Please come and get me.
Practice: Come out of hiding and confess your sins to someone. Anyone. Confess to a pastor, to a close friend. God is coming for us, he wants us to engage with him, but there cannot be any secrets here. We must confess and bring into light that which we so desire to remain hidden in darkness.