“Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Every child has a favorite game that they play with their friends. Mine was hide and seek. Every time I see a tin on the ground, I want to kick it. It brings back the memories of a version of “hide and seek” we played with my buddies. It goes like this: One person is selected to start the game. They close their eyes and count to thirty while every other person runs to find a place to hide. The selected individual will then go around searching for the others. Once a person is found they race back to where the game started and try to kick the can before the selected player tags. This game required a combination of fear, strategy and awareness to avoid being caught. As fun as it sounds, it wasn’t the case for Adam and Eve when they tried to hide from God.
Why would someone attempt to hide from God? I am sure the events surrounding the decision of Adam and Eve are very familiar. Immediately after they ate the fruit God had forbidden them from taking, they heard God walking through the garden. Full of embarrassment, Adam and Eve took off and ducked into the trees wishing the earth would swallow them.
We all know the story of their fall too well. Man was so innocent that he had zero knowledge of evil. Come to think about it, there was only one wrong thing that Adam could do. He wasn’t tempted by the sinful world of today. He had nobody to commit adultery with, no other deity to bow to and nothing to lie about or to covet. It was the simplest command of all time. A single prohibition given about the tree in the middle of the garden was his only chance at sin.
Unfortunately, he sinned. Well, what a shocker! Death and disobedience were introduced in Genesis chapter three and they didn’t know how to react. Satan, a fallen cherub, enticed the lovers to sin by appealing to their pride, carnal wants, and fleshly appetites. He promised that mankind would be free to differentiate between good and evil like God, but he did not disclose the full ramifications of such disobedience. All too soon, the couple knew they had been condemned by the Lord and faced everlasting separation from Him, with no opportunity to repent or make reparations for their evil.
The actions of Adam and Eve demonstrate that sin is a result of one’s own self-will, self-governance, self-satisfaction, and sense of righteousness. It reveals how the desire to be independent of God often accompanies immorality. Sin is what motivates us to live independently. The actions of this couple demonstrate the disastrous and irreversible repercussions that sin may have on a person’s relationship with the Lord who created them. It erects a solid and unbreakable wall between man and his Creator.
But then God enters the picture. Genesis 3:8 may be the most significant verse in the Bible. If it weren’t for Genesis 3:8, all mankind would still be condemned as sinners. Death would be irrevocable, and man would never be able to know God. When God came walking through the garden, the darkness was replaced by grace.
The Good Shepherd
But now the Lord Himself appears to Adam, and see how He does it. He walks in. He was not racing to smite the sinner, nor was He flying on wind-borne wings, nor was He rushing with His fiery sword unsheathed, but He was walking in the garden. “In the calm of the day”. Not “late at night,” when the natural glooms of darkness may have heightened the criminal’s terrors. Not in the heat of the day, lest he think God arrives in the heat of passion. Not early in the morning, as if rushing to slaughter, but late in the day, because God is patient, slow to anger, and abounding in compassion (Psalms 103:8).
Adam ran and sought to avoid the very God with whom he had enjoyed the best company and trust, speaking with him how a man converses with a friend. And when God said, ‘Adam where are you?’ It was the voice of a shepherd looking for the lost sheep.
Sin is a Drug
It drugs the mind. It is a poison that mortifies the conscience of a man. Like a man asleep next to a fire, the warmth takes away every other kind of feeling. It is then that we try to play hide and seek with God. We forget His commandments.
In the garden of Eden, the Devil had promised the couple wisdom, wholeness and evolution. They thought that they would be in the same class with Jehovah. And yet instead of glory, all they felt was shame. Instead of being clothed with angels, they were naked and afraid (John 8:44).
Such is the reality of those who listen to the promises of the devil. Drunkards believe that they are chasing away trouble yet it increases with every visit to the pub. The secret sins we harbor in darkness often disgrace and expose us publicly. But God’s voice in the background asks; Adam , where are you? It is a reminder that we were once happy in the Lord until we lost our way.
His Arms are Always Open
God’s seeking voice confirms three things. First, God calls us back to Himself seasonably. In the cool of the day, right about when we want to give up. Second, God calls us personally. The mention of Adam’s name in verse 9 is personal. We often get into the behaviour of lending other people our ears. After reading such an article we might think, oh if only so and so could hear these words. He is calling you personally to repent and turn from the wrong ways. And finally, God’s voice intends to exude a response from us after hearing His words. God can communicate with us even while we are in sin. It is not enough to hear His voice if we do not answer.
May we never be so naïve as to try to atone for our shortcomings or seek to deny that we are sinners. May we resist the temptation to lust for earthly things or to put our own needs first. When we sin, may we swiftly confess it to God, knowing that He is faithful and just to forgive us our sin and to purify us from ALL unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). May we turn to Jesus, live in Him, and walk in the light as He is in the light.
King James Version (KJV)
And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden.
New International Version (NIV)
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
New American Bible (NASB)
Now 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.
English Standard Version (ESV)
And 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.
The Living Bible (TLB)
That evening they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden; and they hid themselves among the trees.