SOUND WORDS, November 1, 2020

SOUND WORDS, November 1, 2020

Where Are You?

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NKJV) Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31a NKJV) Then the LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:15-17 NKJV) Unique to all creation was man’s living soul. Man was subjected to both natural and spiritual law. He was given a role to fulfill and boundaries set for his behavior. Man was permitted to choose. Crossing the boundaries would have consequence.

Man was fully aware of God’s command and the prescribed consequence. When questioned, Eve accurately repeated God’s instructions. Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:4-5 NKJV) Confronted with information contradictory to God’s instructions, Eve began to consider the alternatives. So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6 NKJV) Eating of this tree was tempting on multiple levels. It appealed to the flesh and appealed to the curiosity. Why would God deny something beneficial for sustenance and for wisdom? Why can I not be like God and know the difference between good and evil? The answer soon became apparent.

Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound 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 among the trees of the garden. Then the LORD God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:7-9 NKJV) Adam’s reply revealed a substantial difference in his attitude toward God. So he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:10 NKJV)

This response also brings more direct questioning from God. And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” (Genesis 3:11 NKJV) Adam deflects blame to God since it was God who provided Eve to him. Eve deflects blame to the serpent and his deception. God holds all three accountable for their participation in this disobedience. So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, You are cursed more than all cattle, And more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, And you shall eat dust All the days of your life. And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” To the woman He said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, And you shall eat the herb of the field. In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread Till you return to the ground, For out of it you were taken; For dust you are, And to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:14-19 NKJV)

Sadly, Adam and Eve already knew good from evil before they sinned. They knew what was permissible and what was forbidden. They knew this in the same good and innocent state that God enjoyed and in which God remains. Now intimate with evil by experience rather than knowledge, they are doomed to suffer the horrific consequences. Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of Us, to know good and evil. And now, lest he put out his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live forever” – therefore the LORD God sent him out of the garden of Eden to till the ground from which he was taken. So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Genesis 3:22-24 NKJV)

God has always revealed His will for mankind.  From His instructions to Adam to the gospel message, man has enjoyed the freedom to choose between obedience and disobedience. Reflect for a moment on your relationship with God. How would you answer if He were to at this moment ask, “Where are you”?

KEN FLEEMAN (11/1/2020)

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