Genesis 3:9 “But the Lord God called to the man, ‘Where are you?’”
This Bible verse is one of my absolute favorites because I believe it summarizes the immensurable and endless love God has for us as His beloved children.
These words often get overlooked by all the chaos going on in the Garden that is recorded in the third chapter of Genesis.
Recall, Adam and Eve were enjoying the paradise of the Garden God had placed them in when their lying enemy showed up in the form of a serpent.
Lies and deception are the calling cards of Satan, and that is exactly the hand he played for Adam and Eve.
When it was all said and done, the Garden had been lost and all things on earth became a twisted version of God’s original intent.
Before creation of mankind, Satan himself had been cast out of the paradise of Heaven along with a third of heavenly angels. He rode his pride right out of the Throne Room of God in the blink of an eye.
Jesus describes it in Luke 10 when He declared, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
The experience of that extraordinary fall might have been one of the motivations Satan had for deceiving Adam and Eve right out of their Eden.
Satan was banished from paradise and was forever designated to be an enemy of God.
Satan sinned; God banished. A love bond was forever broken.
Imagine what Satan thought when He first peered into the newly formed Garden and saw all the beauty God created. I am sure it reminded him of the splendor of his former Heavenly home.
Imagine what he felt when he saw Adam and Eve, God’s beloved children, walking in the cool of the day with Him.
The enemy witnessed the Creator and His new creation interacting in perfect communion.
No doubt his pride rose up once again and he devised a plan to separate what God had intended to bless forever.
He formulated the scheme to deceive Adam and Eve into sin, hoping to cause their exile from the God-created paradise of the Garden.
Sin, banishment and another love bond broken forever.
For a while all seemed to be going according to his devious plan as Adam and Eve fell rather quickly into sin.
Once that fateful bite was taken, Satan surely was sitting back and waiting for all hell to break loose in the Garden.
Satan sitting and waiting and listening.
But what he heard first was not the sound of the creation crumbling under the weight of sin. Satan heard three words out of the very mouth of God that revealed His great love and the fullness of His character that initiated the story of our redemption.
“Where Are You?”
These are the words of God seeking Adam and Eve AFTER their sin.
I wonder what Satan thought when he learned he once again underestimated God.
I wonder what Satan thought when the weight of those three words broke into his reality.
I wonder what Satan thought when he realized God was going to pursue His fallen creation.
I wonder what Satan thought when he understood that the love bond God ordained between Himself and mankind could never be broken.
These three simple words established a powerful truth that needs to be understood by every child of God – and that includes everyone on this planet without qualifiers.
God is pursuing every one of us because He desires a relationship with every one of us.
Because of the fall in the Garden, a sin nature corrupted the original design by the Father.
A Holy God cannot walk in the cool of the day with sin-inflicted man simply because darkness disappears in the presence of light.
Adam and Eve’s sin did result in consequences that mark all of humanity, and we all became responsible for paying the heavy price.
But in the midst of all the chaos that followed the fall in the Garden, we have our Father reaching out to us, knowing exactly where we are among the sin and brokenness of our life.
God saw His broken humanity and sent His own Son to our fallen world to rescue us.
Jesus came to earth to reestablish the Garden relationship.
God still sees each one of us whether or not we believe He does, or even wants to.
It does not matter how far we stray from Him or how unworthy we feel.
God is pursuing each one of us.
When, with submitted hearts, we utter a gentle “I am here, Father”, He draws us close and clothes us in His righteousness.
He banishes our shame and restores our place in the Garden.
God orchestrated and activated His redemptive plan because He looks forward to the day when His beloved children will once again be able to stroll with Him in the Garden.
“I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people.” – Leviticus 26:12