“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?”Genesis 3:8-9
I recently preached a chapel message on being sure of your salvation. I shared that sin and our involvement in it will lead to doubt about our salvation because it runs contrary to a Holy God. One of the greatest attributes of God is that He is holy and cannot tolerate sin. The Father even turned His back on His Son, Jesus, because Jesus shouldered the sin of the world as He hung on the cross. No sin is tolerated by God, and it is only through Jesus’ redeeming blood that we are washed clean. For the Christian who sins, it brings with it guilt and shame.
I remember throughout my life the many times I was involved in sin. I was a sinner all the way back to where my memory takes me, and I was born a sinner prior to that. Sin brought about guilt in my life, and I tried to hide it, but it seemed like I had a big “GUILTY” sign on my forehead. I remember hearing the spanking stick rattle in the cabinet and my mind recalling the many sins I had committed throughout the week. My heart raced as I waited for my parents to come into my room, but for the most part, it was just my mom grabbing my dad a soda for his lunch. I would like to say this is the only time I struggled with these guilty feelings, but this spilled into my adult life as well.
When I struggled with besetting sins in my adult life, I often went to bed and wondered if I hid my sins good enough or if I would be caught. I remember having vivid dreams of being caught in my sin, and I would wake up with my heart racing and the sheets wet with my sweat. I would look over at my wife only to find her fast asleep and me unable to fall back asleep because of my guilt and fear. I did not think to stop my sin, but I thought a lot about ways to not get caught. God was warning me of my sin, but I only took it as a sign to hide what I was doing. I failed to see my miserable state as the guilt weighed on me, and the fear took years off my life. I shamefully did not repent until years later when God started to really work on my heart, and I felt peace that I had not felt in years.
I think back to our first parents and the first sins that were ever committed. The world they knew prior to sin was perfect and devoid of sin and there was no shame or guilt to be found. Their conscience was clear and they walked perfectly before God. I don’t know how long they were in the garden prior to committing sin, but from reading the verses above, I do know they struggled with the guilt of sin much like we do in our lives. Adam and Eve did not immediately repent of their sin, but they hid themselves as if God would not know where they were, A game of hide and seek with God has not worked since the beginning of time, and it does not work now. God knows the motives and intents of the heart and there is nothing that can be hid from Him. Our reaction to sin should be to confess and forsake it, not to try and hide what God already knows. Psalm 34:18 states “The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.”
Where are you today friend? Do you run and hide like Adam and Eve did when they were caught in sin, or do you confess your sin to God when He brings it to mind? 1 John 1:9 states, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Do you have a broken, humble heart before God or do you work hard to save your pride and not get caught? May we not run away from God when we sin, but instead may we run to Him and ask for forgiveness. God is always where we last left Him, and He will call out to His who have left His presence. May He not have to call out to us and say, “Where are thou?”, but may we seek Him where He can be found.