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. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
22 And the LORD God said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.
The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 3:8–11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.The New International Version. (2011). (Ge 3:22–24). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
As I just keep contemplating these last words of Genesis 3, I keep thinking how heartbreaking this must be on Father God. He created Adam and Eve with intention. They were to tend the garden for sure, but God created them more than caretakers. He created them for fellowship. He had an appointment with them everyday in the cool of the day. The day of the fall was no different. I know that God is omnipresent; He is with us everywhere. He is omniscient; He is all-knowing. I know when He asked, “Where are you?” He knew exactly where Adam and Eve were. He knew exactly where they were hiding. He knew exactly why they were hiding. He knew they were trying to cover their shame, and He knew they didn’t have the ability to cover their own mistakes. The question He asked of them was rhetorical. He was bringing them face to face with their disobedience and shame so that He could cover it with a sacrifice only He could make.
The decision to send Adam and Eve was not an easy choice to make. It hurt the Father heart of God to send his children away to face a hard and unforgiving world. I know this because I have had to send each of my three children off into a cold, unforgiving world. The days of driving away from college dormitories and watching my children disappear from sight in my rearview mirror are still etched in my mind. It’s a hard knock life we send our children out into, but we still send them out because that is what parents do. It hurts. We cry. We pray. And we trust God to take care of them. This is why I know how hard it must have been on Father God to send Adam and Eve away from the garden He had created. This garden was created to sustain them. This garden was created for fellowship with Him. It was Adam and Eve’s safe place. The backdrop was plush, full of life, full of sustenance, and full of His Presence. I look at the two verbs in these last two verses, banished and drove. There is such harshness in them. Adam and Eve’s disobedience had caused a deep crevice in the fellowship they once had with the Lord God.
Haven’t you ever had a time when you wished you could have a redo, a do-over? don’t you know as Adam and Eve heard the words of banishment and the harshness of the disciplines, they wanted a redo. They wanted to choose differently that moment with the snake. I wonder if God wanted to give them one. Give them a free pass. I know at times when I disciplined my children, the discipline hurt me far more than it hurt them. (I am sure they would disagree with that statement.) But, as I look at those two verbs and those last two verses, I can almost feel the depth of pain and heartache Father God must have been feeling as He closed up the garden. I know I can never even come close to the depth of feelings Creator God has. Truly I can only imagine how that separation must have felt like as He watched the backs of Adam and Eve disappear on the horizon.
We were created for fellowship with the Lord God. He met with our ancestors in the cool of the day, everyday of their innocence. He had a set appointment time with them. Even though their punishment was banishment from their appointment place, God still watched over their every move. He is still omnipresent in our lives. He sent His Son to tear down all walls and veils that would separate us from His presence.
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split
The New International Version. (2011). (Mt 27:50–51). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Take time today to set up an appointment with God; then keep it. He always keeps His. You were created for this.