Monday, September 08, 2008

Hiding from God: Gen 3:8

"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 3:8)"
For an unknown span of time, Adam and Eve lived and walked with God in intimate fellowship. Regularly God came to fellowship with His creation, especially that part of creation that He had made in His own image. God's fellowship with man and woman was based on a relationship of love. God did not come requesting an offering or a sacrifice, those things would come later, rather He simply wanted to be with His creation.

For a while, this fellowship was unbroken, that is until they sinned in disobedience to their loving Father. After having walked openly and unashamedly with God, they hid themselves for the first time. Their relationship with God had changed and they would begin a pattern of hiding from God that continues with us, their decedents, even to today.

Everyone of us, if we are honest with ourselves, have known times when we have tried to hide from God. Most often, the times we have sought to hide ourselves from God have been the precise times when we have needed His presence the most. Instead of drawing closer to God, we withdrew and hid ourselves from His presence. There are many reasons we hide from Go, but the chief reasons are fear and shame. Far too often we allow fear and shame to weaken our hearts and to cause us to withdraw from our heavenly Father. This is why Paul reminds us to "come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4:16 NKJV)

There are two things we can learn from Adam and Eve. First is that their hiding from God was initiated by their own actions and not God's. It was not God who withdrew from man but man from God. When we hid from God it is because we listen to our emotions and the voices around us and make a decision to withdraw and to hid. While hiding becomes our objective, it is never God's. God has no desire for us to withdraw or hid, rather He continues to beckon us to draw near and to come into His presence. Even in our sin, God beckons us to come. "'Come now, and let us reason together,' Says the Lord, 'though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool.'" (Isaiah 1:18)

Secondly Adam and Eve hid themselves amongst the trees of the Garden. Often, when we try to hide from God, we try by hiding in our own world. We immerse ourselves in our jobs, we become totally focused on our families, or we give ourselves to every form of leisure and entertainment, all in an attempt to hide ourselves from God. While none of these things are bad, we end up choosing them over a relationship with God. We find peace and solace in the things of the world and away from our emotions of fear and shame. However, these things can only serve to mask our pain and can never heal it. This can only happen in the presence of God. We need to learn to become like Mary, who sat at the feet of Jesus. "Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary , for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)

In the next few posts, I want to look further into this story. Specifically, God asks Adam and Eve three questions, and I think there is a lot we can learn about our own tendency to hide from God through the questions and their answers.

More to come... David Robison

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