From my office, I can hear them.
Tromping and clomping.
Stomping and slinking.
Racing and plodding.
The not-so-little feet of my boys.
I know who’s moving about by the sound of his footfalls. They’re so familiar to me. So intimate. The cadence of their steps is part of my life’s music. And it squeezes my heart with love.
I remember the sounds their feet made when they were learning to walk.
I remember how those sounds changed when they were more sure of their footing and started running.
I remember when their footsteps were pitter-patters across the floor.
I remember when their steps became louder as they grew.
I bet it was the same for Adam and Eve. I have no doubt they knew the sound of the Lord’s footfalls as He moved throughout the garden. Like my family, those sounds were precious. Familiar. Reassuring. And they squeezed their heart with love.
The sun is slipping toward the horizon as the evening breeze picks up to tease the end of their hair. Not even realizing it, their ears start to search. Listening. Probing the shadows. Anxious to hear one particular sound. His steps. Every day, their hearts are filled with anticipation and excitement. A thrill coursed through them as they await His arrival. Just the thought of the relationship they have with their Creator renews their joy. And He should be here any time…
He entered that garden every day to engage in conversation with them. To pursue them. To spend time with them. To have a relationship with them. And He did it for the simplest of reasons—for the sheer pleasure of it. He didn’t need them or their fellowship. He wanted it because He loved them and it gave Him joy.
Wouldn’t that be amazing? To walk and talk with God every day. To know Him so well His very movements are intimately familiar. To be able to rely on that intimacy. To engage in conversation with Him and hear His voice. All without the shroud of sin. The tainting of evil.
I used to envy Adam and Even this pleasure. This blessing. I used to resent them for squandering it. For allowing themselves to be duped. I mean, after all, what were they thinking??
Then I realized I’m no different.
Because of I follow Jesus
- I can walk and talk with God every day
- I can know Him so well His very movements are intimately familiar
- I can rely on that intimacy
- I can engage in conversation with Him and hear His voice.
All without the shroud of sin. The tainting of evil.
And I squander it.
Adam and Eve’s story brought three things home for me via God’s 3 questions:
- Where are you?
- Who told you you were naked?
- What have you done?
After sin and its sidekick shame entered the picture, Adam and Eve hid. Physically and spiritually. Not to mention mentally, emotionally, physiologically, and socially.
They were no longer open and vulnerable.
Everything was confusing. Unknown. Strange. Different. Terrifying.
The world and life they had known were alien. Foreign. Uncertain. Horrifying.
Their security was decimated.
Joy. Hope. Love. Peace—GONE!
Their cherished relationship with God; shattered—as was their relationship with each other.
They no longer trusted each other or themselves.
Can you relate?
I can’t even begin to imagine how God grieved! Especially when He looked at His Son, whose heart was also broken but with pure love said, “I’m ready.”
And then they heard His footsteps stop right in front of their hiding spot.
Can you picture it?
Maybe you don’t have to; you may be thinking “Yes I can. I lived it!”
Where are you?
The question penetrates their hearts. And ours.
Here’s what gets me. God knew exactly where they were! Our all-knowing, all-seeing, ever-present God knew they sinned. He knew every detail and misstep along the way to the deed. He could feel their rebellion coming at them in waves.
And yet He pursued them. Reached out to help gather the pieces to put their relationship back together.
Where are you?
He doesn’t ask it for us to admit to which tree we’re hiding behind.
He asks this question to offer the opportunity
- To repent
- To take an accounting of what we did and seek forgiveness
- To absolve our guilt and eradicate our shame
If we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. (1 John 1:9)
No one had to tell them they were naked.
No one had to tell them to go get some clothes on.
Their eyes were opened, all right, when the protective covering of innocence was ripped away. The promised knowledge brought only embarrassment and shame. (Genesis 3:7a)
Oh, we know this one, don’t we?
Then they made a pitiful attempt to cover themselves. Their effort was so puny it makes you wonder if it was worth it. Figleaves may be sturdy, thick, and leathery,; but as far as clothing goes, they’re fragile at best.
People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy. (Proverbs 28:13)
We know that one too, don’t we.
Then when God asks, “Who told you you were naked?” there’s an implication that they still are. Though they are “covered” the shame remains because their attempt at covering wasn’t adequate.
And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife. (Genesis 3:21)
God sacrificed one of His creations to redeem one of much higher value to Him. And He used the hide to clothe their bodies while He used its blood to cover their sin. He did for them what they couldn’t do for themselves.
Then, later, He sacrificed His Son, One of MUCH higher value, to redeem us. Not just to cover our sin, but to purchase our freedom. To fully heal the broken relationship we’ve created with our sin.
Why? Why would He do this? Why would He enter into our humanity, to live among us? Why would He continue to pursue us? Desire to spend time with us?
To have a relationship with us.
And He does it for the simplest of reasons—for the sheer pleasure of it. He doesn’t need us or our fellowship. He wants it because He loves us and it gives Him joy.
We need to take the next step. Confess and repent.
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ. Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
If we confess our sins, God does forgive our sins. But that doesn’t mean that we avoid the consequences of our sin. And those consequences can be more far-reaching than we could ever imagine. Affecting future generations and beyond. Adam and Eve were forgiven, but they were still banished from the garden. They would still face death. They were still broken. And their sin still infected all humanity with sin.
It’s no different with a couple who engages in sex outside of marriage and she conceives. She is still pregnant and has a whole host of decisions to make. Does she raise the child or allow another couple to adopt and raise her? Does she continue on the path she’s been on or change it?
Or how about an affair? Once the relationship comes to light families are destroyed, often beyond repair. Your reputation, character, and integrity are decimated. But the damage doesn’t stop there, does it? It hurts your friends, neighbors, and coworkers. If you’re a Christian or a Christian in ministry, the extensive damage is even more extensive.
Now, think about gossip. Lies. Substance abuse. Gambling. Pornography.
I’m sure we could all tell stories.
The ripple effects can (and do) go on and on and on. Months, years, decades, generations later.
Beloved, please hear me, sin won’t stay buried forever. It will come to light eventually. And the longer it stays buried, the more it festers and the more damage it does when it comes out.
Which brings us back to the first question.
Where are you?
What is God asking you to confess to? What is it God wants you to lay before Him to keep the ripple effects to a minimum?
Step out of the shadows, my friend. Let Jesus have all of it.
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