“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” – ESV Genesis 3:9
“Where are you?” is the first question in the Bible. Interestingly, it is the first question that God addresses to man. God is omniscient and this means He knows all things, why then would He ask us questions? Doesn’t He already know the answer? The questions that God asks are not for His sake as they are for us. God wants to draw us near to Himself and to search us and know us. God delights in His children coming to Him and hearing Him as He speaks by His Spirit through His Word. He wants to speak to us and for us to learn to listen to Him (Deut. 6:4; Prov. 2:1ff).
When Adam and Eve sinned against God, they had gone their own way. Rather than truly listening and learning from their wonderful Creator and LORD, they chose to do their own will and sin against God. Yet God graciously came to our first parents, and sought them out, even when they were not looking for Him! The Bible tells us that God came “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). Rather than join God for fellowship as would have been their normal practice and delight, Adam and Eve actually sought to hide from God because of the fear and shame that sin produces. We learn that Satan, sin and shame may drive us away from God, but God intends by grace to draw His dear children near to Him! (John 6:37, 44; James 4:8). John Calvin wrote: “No one will dedicate himself to God until he be drawn by His goodness, and embrace Him with all his heart. He must therefore call us to Him before we call upon Him; we can have no access till He first invites us…allured and delighted by the goodness of God.”
Dearly Beloved of God, do you allow God to ask you this question each day? Listen to His voice: “Where are you?” Where are you today? Where are you in your relationship to your God? Are you walking with your God, acknowledging His loving presence? Are you hiding from your God? Have Satan, sin and shame driven you away from God? God is everywhere present, but are you acknowledging His presence and living in His strength? When He knocks on the door of your heart do you answer? (Revelation 3:20). Are you near God today?
God graciously clothed our first parents who had tried to run from God in their sin and shame (Gen. 3:21). God reveals that He is the God who clothes needy and naked sinners with the righteousness of His Beloved Son. Jesus was forsaken on the cross, abandoned as a cursed thing because although He had not committed any sins or transgressions Himself, the LORD had laid our iniquities upon Him (Isa. 53:5). In our place condemned He stood! This is our Beloved Savior, perfect and sinless as the Lamb of God, who cries out in dereliction on the cross: “Where are you?” Or, “My God, My God why have you forsaken me?” Jesus was made to be sin, having our sins imputed to Him, so that we would receive His righteousness by faith alone and boldly draw near to God.
“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – ESV 2 Corinthians 5:21
Jesus reconciled us to God, and has given us access to our dear Heavenly Father. Let us answer our Father’s question honestly today. Let us hear Him, let us listen, and let us respond with faith and obedience because of what Christ has done for us! Consider this question to you today: “Where are you?” Are you near to God? Draw near to God in Jesus Christ because He died for you, and He promises to draw near to you (Heb. 4:16).
When you read your Bibles, and meditate thoughtfully on Scripture, let God ask you over and over: “Where are you?” And then be honest with Him–and yourself. Let his be your prayer: “Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” – ESV Psalm 139:23-24. Hide no more from God. Draw near to God in Jesus Christ. Let God be your hiding place and home. “Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” – ESV John 14:23.
In Christ’s love,
Pastors Biggs and Halley