February 25, 2018

Where Are You?

Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.  “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

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.  But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

Genesis 3:1-9

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We have heard this story over and over; I think we become numb to it…sometimes.  The serpent, the tree, and the apple are all part of a story we have heard if ever  we have walked in the door of a Sunday School classroom.  But as I re-read it tonight, God spoke to me and asked this question,

Where are you?

Remember, God had made every inch of that Garden and He knew exactly where His people were that day.  See, the serpent—the slithering enemy who still spews lies—had just changed the course of the lives of Adam and Eve by tempting them with fruit.  It was fruit off  of a tree that God had specifically told them they must not eat. God didn’t give them a reason (and He really didn’t owe them one).  His Word was enough.  But Adam and Eve took the fruit and they ate it. After they did, their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked and for the first time the word “shame” came to mind.  And then they hid from God.  Can you even imagine what they felt when they heard His voice asking, “Where are you?”

The enemy, that slithering serpent, still lies to us today. Perhaps you might be right in the middle of believing him.  Like Adam and Eve, you might have just realized what you have done…and the word ‘shame’ fits like a glove.  And perhaps you may be hiding from God, too.  But He sees you.  When He asked Adam and Eve that same question, He knew where they were…He just wanted them to know and see for themselves.  They had to admit to Him that they had messed up and they needed Him still.  God may have banished them from the perfect garden but there was still life outside those gates.  He still loved them and longed to spend time with them.  And, He loves you, too, and wants to help you reclaim your life.  But first you have to know where you are.  Because He knows!

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Dear Lord, You are awesome and wonderful.  Your love for us is never-ending and we are so grateful.  Lord, You have given us a garden here on earth, with beautiful sand and oceans and flowers…beautiful places to spend time with You.  Oh Lord, there are times when we are so far away and we struggle to find our way. I pray today for those who have lost their way and the voice of the enemy has been too loud. Silence it today in Your name and may they hear Your voice asking…’Where are you?’  We love You and praise You.  In Jesus’ name, amen.