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. But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
The man said, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.
– Genesis 3:8-13
Even though man had transgressed God’s command, and created a huge gulf between God and man, God did not abandon him. In his transgression, man ran from God, yet, God went looking for him. God in his love for his creation searched out Adam and his wife Eve.
Scripture tells us that God fellowshipped with Adam in the cool of the day. As usual, God went looking for the man, who had hidden himself from God. From the time of the fall, man has been running away from God as opposed to running to God.
His grace and mercy still abound today. He seeks us out and comes to us through his spirit who gathers and brings us to faith. God does this because of his love and his grace.
For this, we give thanks and praise because our loving, compassionate, and merciful God reaches out to us. As God entered the garden, he called out to the man, “Where are you?”
Once sin entered humanity, man became helpless. We became dead in sin without the power to save ourselves. We are redeemed through God’s grace and mercy.
Were we to go before a human judge and be judged for our transgressions, we would all be found guilty and receive mankind’s justice, which would be damnation. Not so with a merciful and generous God. He will not allow this to happen.
Even though God called out to the man, asking where he was, he knew where the man was and what he had done. In calling to the man, he was looking for the man’s confession. Instead, the man and the woman were accusatory.
The man blamed God. “The woman you put here with me.” The woman accused the serpent. “The serpent deceived me …”
To this day, man has not changed. Constantly, we hear people make the same accusative statements, particularly in the courts. “I came from a depraved background”, “I came from a broken home”, “I was abused as a child”. They are saying, “I am not responsible for my behavior.”
However, scripture tells us that we are responsible for our behavior. Through the law, God helps us to see our sins. When we see and acknowledge them, we are driven to repent and seek God’s forgiveness.
When we turn to God in repentance, he forgives our sins. He does not want to see mankind condemned. Forgiveness is offered to us constantly, through God’s spirit who is active in the world. He draws us to the cross and causes us to trust and have faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord and savior.
Christ our Lord and savior bridged the gulf between God and man. His cruel death and resurrection give us new life. In our baptism, we are united with Christ and receive a new life. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, 119 John F. Kennedy Drive, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas; or telephone: 426-9084; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; website: www.nassaulutheranchurch.org.