Hiding From God OR Trusting in God's Goodness?
When my kids were little, I remember that they would try and hide when they thought they were in trouble. One specific time that comes to mind was when my son was still in diapers, and I found him in the dining room corner with a dirty diaper.
I asked him, "Hey! What are you doing?" while knowing full well what he was doing… or had already done. All he was able to do is to give me this deer in the headlights look, which I thought was pretty funny at the time, although maybe not the changing of his diaper part.
In Genesis 3:8-15, we find Adam similarly hiding from God. In verse 9, God calls out to him, "Where are you?" and in maybe the saddest verse in the Bible, Adam answers in Genesis 3:10, that he had heard God, was afraid of his nakedness, and hid. From there God begins to dole out punishments to all parties involved, and it's also the beginning of God pursuing his people despite their not trusting him.
You see, just like my son didn't trust me enough to know that I would love him despite what he had done, Adam didn't trust God despite knowing, “the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden.” Adam had this relationship with the LORD where he even knew God's sounds. He knew the creator God in a perfect environment, Eden, knew that God took care of him, even bringing him a perfect companion in Eve. Yet, despite all of that, sin entered his heart, and he chose to trust himself more than God. He failed to keep the LORD the King in his heart, and in choosing sin, ushered in chaos to everything, including himself, Eve, and every single person after them.
Thankfully the story, although monumentally sad with incalculable impacts, doesn't end there. God pursues his people in the same breath that his justice flows from, foreshadowing that he is not done with them. In our finite minds we wouldn't fault God for wanting to be done, but the story is just beginning as God's plan is only beginning to unfold.
The punch line is that God can be trusted, fully, completely, and in everything. Trusting God is hard for us because of a lot of things. Often our views of God are mixed up in our upbringing, traditions, family, spouses, etc. Trusting in general can be difficult, and then to trust the LORD fully and completely is such a foreign concept. Abraham had a crisis between these two ideas in Genesis 15 where God says to Abram in verse 1, “Fear not, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.”
In the very next line of the text (verse 10) starts with the word, “but.” Now when we are studying the Bible, the word, “but,” often indicates a contrast between the previous thought and the next thought. This occurrence is exactly that. Abram is absolutely questioning God's promise to him, and he completely lacks the faith to wait on God. Instead of trusting and waiting, Abram is hiding in his own actions. You could say he's hiding in his own sin, just like his father Adam.
Isn't that pretty typical of how we act too? How many times have I strayed from God's path and lacked faith? How many times have I trusted my own strength instead of trusting in God? How many times? Countless, that's how many. Like the stars in the heavens, too numerous to count. But Adam and Abram were not left in their sin. They were not left to their own devices, to figure things out, and to forge their own way. Instead, God, in his sovereignty, provided a way. The Way in fact.
Our heavenly Father knows us all too well. He knows that apart from him, we cannot keep a bargain if our life depended on it. Instead of relying on us, he sent his son Jesus to take our place, and to pay the penalty to satisfy God's wrath towards our sin. God did it all. Everything. We only have to trust in his goodness that he's got it.
The lure of hiding in our sin and hiding from the LORD is ever present and as we look this advent season to the ONE who shows us the way. Let us rest and trust in HIS goodness and in HIS way instead of our own.