Grace For The Journey
Today is our final installment on God’s incredible question to two rebellious, fear-stricken, on-the-run sinners: “The Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” (Genesis 3:9) In our Wednesday blog we examined the HONOR of the question; in our Thursday blog we examined the HOPE in God’s question. Today we will see the HEART behind the question.
The HEART behind the Question
It is important for us to understand what was going on before the question. The Bible tells us in Genesis 3:8, “[Adam and Eve] heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” If this had been the first time the Lord God walked in the garden in the cool of the day, the sound they heard would have been unfamiliar, but it was not. This was a part of daily living for Adam and Eve – personal, intimate, heart-to-heart, face-to-face communion with their God. The heart behind the question was a heart that beat for Adam and Eve. But that’s not all.
It is also instructive to note how God came to the very first sinners. He came to Adam and Eve in exactly the same manner He had come to them prior to their sin: “walking in the garden in the cool of the day.” Notice that God was walking and not running, so as not to startle them as they crouched trembling in the brush, seared by their sin. He came in “the cool of the day,” as was His custom. Had the sovereign Lord suddenly appeared out of the darkness, surely the two sinners would have been even more terrified. The “cool of the day” suggests the end of the day; more than enough time had elapsed than was needed for Adam and Eve to fashion their flimsy garments of fig leaves. This delay suggests God’s long-suffering heart for sinners.
God came to Adam and Eve after their awful betrayal in the same way He came to them before it. This should be a source of great comfort to us all! Scripture assures us that God does not change (Malachi 3:6). He comes to sinners the same way after the Fall as before it. He comes to us with a heart overflowing with love, patience, mercy, and grace. God knows that our rebellion has caused our once-perfected image of God to be marred and dreadfully stained by sin. We are all poor . . . blind . . . and naked. Yet in our sin-stained condition, God still comes to us!
One final thought: this question had to do with Adam and Eve’s spiritual welfare. Most men are concerned about their material and physical welfare. Their, and our, greatest need is to understand where we are in relation to God and turn to Him for forgiveness and restoration. Jesus shows us that this is still God’s of reaching and rescuing the sinner. In Matthew 11;28 Jesus beautifully presents God’s invitation to us, “Come to Me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” God pursues rebels who are on the run from Him . . . who are hiding from Him . . . who are hostile to Him . . . and He invites them to “come” to Him so He can give them rest from the fearful torment of their sinful condition. That is His heart, that is our present help, and that is our eternal hope!
This is God’s Word For Today … This Is Grace For The Journey
Rest and Rejoice in this eternal truth!
Ephesians 4:7 – “But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”
Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”