“Let there be light” are the first words of God as recorded in Scripture (Genesis 1:3). But do you know what God’s first question was?
It occurs in Genesis 3:9 after Adam and Eve had eaten from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The ramifications and unforeseen consequences of sinful choices were already rearing their ugly head. The feelings of guilt and shame had overtaken a once innocent man and woman. Pitiful coverings of fig leaves were made in an attempt to cover their exposed selves. And fear caused them to run away and hide from the Creator with whom they had previously enjoyed a friendship based on openness and transparency.
And then God asks it – “Where are you?” For a God who knows everything and is ever-present, such a question seems quite ridiculous. But God wasn’t asking the question for his own information; he wanted Adam and Eve to consider the question for themselves. So Adam replies, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”
“I was hiding” is a poor reply to a God who knows all and sees all. When we find ourselves in a mess because of sin, the truth is that we often try to hide from ourselves or from reality. The longer we hide or run away from the truth, the bigger our mess usually gets.
While the writer of Hebrews makes no mention of Adam and Eve, he seems to be referring to the story of Eden that is often repeated among us. Hebrews 4:13 states, “And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.”
If God knows all and sees all, and if we all have sinned, what can we do? Rather than hide from God (or ourselves), Hebrews 4:16 suggests a far better course – “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Even when we sin, hiding from or covering up our exposed selves will only make matters worse. Drawing near to a God who already knows us better than we know ourselves will expose us to what we ultimately need – mercy and grace.
Praise God for seeing us for who we really are and still forgiving us in Christ Jesus! God’s first question is the one He stills asks each of us today – “Where are you?” Be blessed today by coming to him, no matter where or how you may be hiding. Bless someone else today by helping them know his mercy and grace.