Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
Previously, we saw Adam and Eve flee from the presence of God as He came seeking them. This human behavior continues today in the lives of far too many people who allow their deep-seated sense of guilt lead them in the wrong direction. This Divine behavior has also continued as God, with great grief, has self-sacrificially sought the restoration of relationship with the minuscule specks of personality on this little dot of dirt in a vast universe dwarfed by the grandeur of God. Now we see God ask a simple question, “Where are you?” As I piece together all the revelation God has given of Himself in Scripture, I conclude that this question was not for His sake, as if their hiding was actually effective, but for the sake of the confused couple. Hiding from God – right; as if that will ever work. With this realization bursting in his mind, the poet, David, expressed in lyrical phrase,
“O LORD, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down, and are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue, behold, O LORD, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,’
Even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.”
God offered Adam an opportunity to come out of hiding and confess his wrong-doing. Unlike many, Adam availed himself of the occasion and admitted he was hiding, blaming it, however, on the nakedness (which he had covered), that was never an issue previously. God responds with two further questions, creating another opening for Adam to express himself, revealing his heart and mind. Jesus often used this method when dealing with people, as should we, listening (between the lines) to perceive what their words expose of themselves.
The Blame Game
In response, we see another human behavior that has continued through the ages. Both Adam and Eve found it preferable to point the finger elsewhere, a routine designed to alleviate one from the painful and shameful act of confessing one’s sin. Adam, first, points to Eve as the source of the problem. One can only imagine what this did for their relationship as the man who was to protect and defend her “threw her under the bus” (before there were even buses). I can imagine Eve disgustingly bobbing her head as she muttered, “Thanks dude; my hero.” Of course, as we follow through on the rest of Adam’s accusation, it lies at the feet of God, “The woman YOU gave me…”
Learning quickly how this works, Eve was ready when God turned His questioning to her. At this point, the interrogation ended and the proclamation began; judgment was declared.