Reading: Genesis 3:9
The “sound of the Lord God walking in the garden” did not reveal the purpose of God (it was general revelation); it is the question “Where art thou?” that shows us God’s intention. “Where art thou?” ought to have been the cry of Adam in search of the God he had so grievously offended. But no, it was God who came seeking (Luke 19:10).
God did not need to know where Adam was geographically, so this is not a call for information. God has not lost man; man has lost God. It is quite probable that the question “Where art thou?” was asked as God looked Adam in the eye through the leaves of the trees. God seeks men not because they are gone from His knowledge, but because they are gone from His communion. This is not a call of chastisement: Adam at this time is not a child to be chastised but a sinner to be judged. Nor is this a call for vengeance: God is not hunting Adam down to make him pay for the destruction of Eden.
“Where art thou?” is a call of gospel mercy. The first interaction between God and man after the fall was not only initiated by God, but it was initiated in pity on behalf of rebellious man. It was not to satisfy the justice of God but to show His grace.
What a patient and gracious God to pursue me even against my sinful reasoning and excuses (cf. verse 12), to conquer me by grace, to bring me into union with Him, and then to keep me in fellowship! Where am I this morning with regard to communion with God? Is God pursuing me through the camouflage of worldly distractions or am I seeking Him?
“When the image of God was withdrawn, the life of holiness expired, and our souls were dead, putrefying and stinking as an open sepulchre. And what think you, could Christ love us in this condition? Will any of us set our affections on a worm, take a toad into his bosom? But Christ embraced us in the arms of love, when we had made ourselves worse than the beasts that perish. Oh the freeness of this love.” David Clarkson (3:14)