He has left his position of true happiness and peace (Gen. 1:31) …When God created man, he was to find his fullness in God.
This is the frequent question that God continues to pose to the human race, “Adam, where are you?” Since the fall of our first parents, God has been asking Man to realize that he has left his original position in creation. He has left his position of true happiness and peace (Gen. 1:31). When God created man, he was to find his fullness in God. Man was to walk each day closer to his creator and find satisfaction in the fact of giving glory to God (Gen. 2:15–17). But when he was tempted with the possibility of being his own god, he took it and left the fold of peace and happiness (Gen. 3:1–6). The man moved out of the embrace of God. But God in his loving grace came searching for man saying, “Where are you?” It was not that he did not know where Adam and Eve were, but he was questioning their spiritual state. How they had fallen from grace. In the same way, he searches for us today. Through confrontation with the gospel, he is calling us, helping us to see the way to true happiness. After the fall, man learned the true reality of his choice the hard way. When Adam and Eve made that choice, they realized their folly. They went hiding from God because of their guilt. That guilt made them run even when no one was chasing them. How many of us run away from God because our conscience condemns us! We are so overwhelmed with guilt that we run from God. We feel he is too righteous and we are not worthy. And it is true he is righteous, but he is also gracious.
… In the same way, he searches for us today. Through confrontation with the gospel, he is calling us, helping us to see the way to true happiness.
Look at the reaction of Peter. Christ had done something good for him, something that he had labored for the whole night without achieving, but instead of saying thank you, the guilt in his heart condemned him. “But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, ‘Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.’ For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men” (Lk. 5:8–10). The Lord Jesus is showing in Peter’s life that he came to take the guilt away. If he can do it for Peter, he is able to do it for you. Do not let the guilt deprive you of the happiness that comes only from God. At the fall guilt crept in instead of freedom. In place of peace, guilt has come and it is a heavy burden that weighs us down and we cannot handle it. But listen to the invitation of the Lord: “All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:27–29).
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden…
We also see that because of their choice they went hiding out of shame (because they were naked). We look at how we have fallen, the many errors we have made and we feel ashamed. We think, “Who would believe us, with all this baggage of sin and failures.” We always look for ways to cover up our shame. Sometimes these covers could be attendance to church services or doing charitable deeds for others. But look at Adam and Eve’s miserable attempt to cover their shame. We cannot hide from God, he sees everywhere: “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” (Heb. 4:13; cf. Ps. 139:1–2). Furthermore, we see that they went hiding because they were afraid. Sin brings fear in us. We often choose the way of sin to find or express our freedom but instead of freedom, it makes us fearful. We fear the outcome of our choice. We are afraid of what people will think of us and also what will happen to us. We can all relate to the experience of Adam and Eve and say, “Yes, this is how I feel and I am always looking to point my finger at someone else” (cf. Gen. 3:10–13). What is the reason for this?
We cannot hide from God, he sees everywhere …
This is what sin does to us. We are guilty, ashamed, and afraid. Hence, we have become aliens to true happiness. But God is calling, “Adam, where are you?” because the solution to the mess we have caused is nowhere else but only in God. It is God who comes to the rescue of Adam and Eve. He comes to deal with their guilt, shame, and fear. He confronts them with the truth. Have you eaten from the tree that I told you not to? He pronounces the consequences of their actions but he also provides a solution for them. He did not tell them it is nothing, he tells them what it is. It is sin and it has consequences. It is the same for us today. Our choices are sinful and they have consequences, but God is not just talking about the consequences of our sins. He is also coming to our aid even today “And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them” (Gen. 3:21). When you look at the efforts of Adam and Eve to cover themselves, you see how insufficient they were because leaves would dry and they could not cover them properly. But God takes the life of another, an animal, to pay for the sins of Adam and Eve and to cover their shame, their fear, and their guilt.
It is God who comes to the rescue of Adam and Eve …
In like manner, God has provided a covering for us through his beloved Son Jesus Christ. “For our sake, he made him be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). God is calling out to you in this fallen world where you are. He is not calling because he does not know where you are. He knows, but he is calling so that you realize your sins have alienated you from him. The fall has alienated you from true happiness because true happiness is only achieved when one is closer to God. He wants to extend his grace to you. He wants to cover the shame of your sin. He wants you to experience his full atonement for the penalty you should have suffered because of sin. He wants you to experience the freedom from fear like John the apostle has written: “So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment because as he is so also are, we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us” (1 Jn. 4:16– 19).
God is calling, “Where are you?” Because in his love he has provided the means of restoring you back to him (Jn. 3:16). That reconciliation to God, our happiness, and our peace is only through faith. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth, one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:9–13).