God’s First Question In the Garden
“Where are you?”
That is how God enters the scene in Genesis 3 after both Adam and Eve successfully did the one thing that they were asked not to do. How you read those words says a lot about your fundamental belief about God.
For instance, if you believe in a God who is angry and out for vengeance, then you hear God yelling “Where are YOU? I know what you did and it’s time for you to come out and be punished.”
Of course God knows everything. He knew they were hiding their new found shame from Him behind some bushes. Yes, this is a rhetorical question as the NIV Study Bible commentates. But to so quickly dismiss this verse is to overlook the heart God has for His creation.
Do you hear the longing behind that question?
“Where ARE you? I’ve come to you hundreds of times before this and you are always here, running toward me, excited to see me. You’ve never questioned my love for you, nor have you ever doubted your trust for me. I miss you. You are no longer with me. You’ve chosen to be with another. Where ARE you?”
In order for Adam and Eve to see “that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and was desirable for gaining wisdom” they had to necessarily take their eyes off of God.
They broke their connection with the Creator.
The perfect image placed in them was broken as a result. For them, this was felt as shame – the fear of not being loved nor accepted. They had never had that fear before because they were connected to God. Looking to God. Calling to God. Walking with God.
The consequence is the part of the story we always focus on, fig leaves and the curse. So we pass over God’s first question in the garden.
God experienced the disconnection too. He grieved the disconnection.
The Bible is the story of the great lengths God would go to in order to restore the connection. As you turn the pages and read the accounts of men putting their identity in family, wealth, nation, rules, power, pleasure – covering their shame and brokenness with new fig leaves – you can hear God asking the question “Where are you?”
Jesus expresses this same thing. It is about restoring our connection with God. Read John 15. Over and over Jesus says to simply “remain in me”. Eyes on Jesus. Identity in Jesus. It’s about presence with the Creator of all things.
It’s not about doing, it’s about being.
We cannot DO anything until we ARE.
“Where ARE you?“