Thursday, February 23  “Where are you?”

Scripture: Genesis 3:8-13

8 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. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”

12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me— she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

Some thoughts:

On the heels of that first question comes the second question in the Bible, not surprisingly, it’s a question from God. It too is a question posed to every living human and it is a question God asks you today. “Where are you?” He knew full well where Adam and Eve were hiding. Adam answered the literal, physical question and the Lord went to the heart of the issue because the “Where are you?” was a heart question. The God/human relationship was now different. It had been severed. Then come more pointed questions from God. “Who told you that you were naked?” “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” God zeros in. And a final question to Eve, “What have you done?” The Lord was walking on a path in the Garden, a path he had created, a path of closeness. The three of them had been in communion and that relationship was now cut off resulting in a chasm. Adam and Eve were “off the path” and with them, the whole human race.

Have you ever asked someone you love this same basic question when the two of you were experiencing difficulties, “Where are you?” “Where are we?” One of the themes of the season of Lent is that of spiritual self-examination in which we might ask ourselves, “Where am I with the Lord?” And like the case with Adam and Eve, the Father knows exactly where you are and is longing for close communion with you. The answers to these two questions “Did God say?” and “Where are you?” determine the path we take and whether or not we stay on the path.

(I would suggest that you read one-half a chapter of Pilgrim’s Progress each day.  If you begin today, read chapter one up to the entrance of Worldly Wisdom. Christian asks this very question, “What shall I do?” He answers it by taking the pilgrimage journey of faith and heading down the path to the Celestial City.)

Music: “If Ye Love Me” Thomas Tallis   the King’s Singers

Prayer: O thou great Chief, light a candle in my heart, that I may see what is therein, and sweep the rubbish from thy dwelling place.       – An African schoolgirl’s prayer, from Eerdman’s Book of Famous Prayers, p.90