Scripture: Genesis 3:1-24
Key verses: (8-9) “The man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. God called and said, “Where are you?”
Reflection: So often when I am reading scripture I find myself laughing at the questions that God asks us. In our text for today Adam and Eve have disobeyed God, have listened to the crafty snake, and in their fear have hidden from God in the trees. And then we get this question from God, “Where are you?” God, who created the world that the man and the woman are living in, who created the fruit that they ate, who created the Adam and Eve themselves and the trees that they are hiding in, this God asks, “Where are you?” I find it hard to believe that God didn’t know where Adam and Eve were hiding. God’s sovereignty, presence, and wisdom are too great for God to lose at an easy game of hide and seek.
So what was God’s question getting at? I often think that we as humans get ourselves into situations that we aren’t quite sure how we got into them and at the same time aren’t quite sure how to get out. And instead of seeking help, admitting we were wrong, or facing those who we’ve made mad, we often find ourselves sitting in trees, pretending like nothing is out of the ordinary. But thankfully God doesn’t play along with our tricks, instead God shakes us back to reality, helping us realize that we are grown adults sitting in a tree, hiding. Hiding from a mistake, from fear, from shame, from something that we have made bigger in our mind, from something that we have made worse by our hiding. And God, in God’s loving way jolts us out of our downward mindset and brings us back to God’s loving presence. For in the end, the worst didn’t happen to Adam and Eve, their lives continued, they got out of the trees and moved on with their life facing God and facing each other.
Where in your life have you made a choice, said some words, or done who knows what, and have found yourself up in the trees, hiding, standing firm in your position even if it’s not comfortable and you don’t really know how you got there? Do you know what I’m talking about? We’ve all been there, an argument that starts out small but gets way too big, a firm position we hold that we don’t know why other than we can’t admit there might be another opinion to be heard, a small mistake that turns into avoidance. Wherever that is in your life, pause for this moment … hear God say, “Where are you?” May this be an invitation to get down out of the trees with God’s grace by your side and face whatever it is that brought you up there.
Prayer: Holy God, you know us too well. We are often a stubborn people that allow small things to turn big, and allow anxieties and fears to morph into unhelpful actions separating us from one another and from you. By your Spirit call us down out of the trees, help us to approach each other with your love and grace. For you are a compassionate, patient, and caring God, may we remember that all of our days. Amen.
Author: John Magnuson
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].