“But the LORD called to the man” Genesis 3:9
Yesterday I talked about my fear that when I sinned God would turn away from Me, that He would stop talking to me. Today God has provided me with the perfect examples of how He DOESN’T do that.
There are a lot of things I have learned in my eleven years of being a parent. One of them is the astounding wisdom that comes with being a parent. Well, at least it astounds my children anyway. You know what I mean right? All the times when you can “see” what they’re doing even when you’re not in the same room with them. Case in point, just last night the kids were supposed to be getting ready for bed. Anna was completely ready and back in the living room ready to do our night time devotional, Gabe on the other hand, who is usually the first one ready, was still in his room. And without even getting up from his chair in the living room Sean said, “Gabe, put your Legos down, get your pajamas on and get in here!”
At no point could we hear him sifting through his Legos, did Anna tattle on him, nor did either one of us get up to look and see what he was doing. Yet we both knew exactly what he was doing that was keeping him from doing what he was supposed to be doing at that moment.
I mean honestly, how many times have you heard the saying “Moms have eyes in the back of their heads”. It’s because we know our children so well that we don’t have to be in the same room with them to know what they’re doing. The same is true, only more so, with God. He knows His children well enough that He knew exactly what was happening before He even entered the garden that day. But like any other dad He has to go through the whole conversation with them and hash out what happened.
“But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.’ He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?’ The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this that you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.'” Genesis 3:9-13
Now I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough conversations like this with kids that to me I can just see little Adam and little Eve pointing their fingers down the line blaming the one next to them. I can see the mess of fig leaves all over the ground the core of the forbidden fruit cast aside in shame of what they’d done. I can see their big round eyes shiny with guilty tears and the fear of having been caught knowing that there would be a consequence. Yes, this scene is all too familiar to me because I’ve seen it play out before me many times in the last eleven years. But before that it wasn’t a scene that played out before me, it’s the scene I played.
The guilty party hiding behind another tree in shame of what I’d done, knowing that it was wrong but having done it anyway. Afraid of what God would say when He “found out”. You seriously can’t tell me He didn’t already know what had just happened in the garden, He’s GOD ALMIGHTY, He knew. He knew before He ever created them.
But here’s my point. Would any good parent know their child has done something like this and just walk away? If the child you carried for 9+ months in your womb walked out into a busy street would you turn your back and say nothing because they had sinned against you by not obeying your rule about not going in the street? As a parent, that would be the stupidest thing you could ever do. And you wouldn’t do it because it makes no sense what=so-ever. Your child would die if you were silent. So as a good parent you wouldn’t remain silent would you? You wouldn’t turn your back and walk away from your child who has put themselves in devastating danger now would you? So why is it that we think God does?
If you’re walking right into sin, through it even, and covering yourself with the fig leaves of shame, what makes you think that God is going to be silent about it? What makes you think that He will turn His back on you and leave you in that dangerous situation? Is He not a good parent, better than any kind of parent we could ever be?
Right here in scripture, in today’s reading, we find it not once but twice that He is precisely that kind of parent. When Adam and Eve fall into sin, God comes and confronts them with their sin immediately before they can do any more damage. Then again when Cain kills Abel God immediately calls him into accountability. In neither situation did God remain silent and walk away from His beloved child. In both cases He walked TO them and talked TO them.
For far too long God has been painted as a vengeful God acting only in wrath and justice toward his children. But that is never the kind of parent He has been. Not ever. When I read these passages, I see my dad with me. I see my husband with my children. The kind of father that comes in and sees the mess they’ve made and says, “This is not acceptable behavior. Now clean up the mess you’ve made.” And if the mess is bigger than they are, or dangerous for them to clean up (broken glass/lives) then He helps them repair the damage and then they all move on with life because forgiveness has taken place as well.
God isn’t vengeful, He is love. His anger isn’t directed toward you, it’s directed toward the mess you’ve made for yourself and the danger you’ve put yourself in. Why? Because HE LOVES YOU! He loves you enough to correct you when you’re going the wrong way, when you’re wasting your time doing the wrong things. Your time is the most precious commodity you have on this planet. It is the ONLY thing that you have that once gone there will never be more. So we’ve got to make sure that we’re spending it wisely. And I can tell you from my own experience lately, God won’t let you go too far down the wrong road before He stops you and tells you to turn back around and head a different direction. He is so good that way!
Are you like I was? Did you see God as the kind of God that would stop talking to you and stop blessing you if you did something wrong? Did today’s reading change the way you saw God as a father? How has it changed your thinking? Food for thought at least isn’t it.