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.
What a great verse this is. It is so indicative of us. It reflects our efforts and behaviors. Here we find Adam and Eve, fresh off making their decision to disobey God. They heard His Word, Adam first, who we assume gave it to Eve). We are sure that they are both aware of God’s instructions, when they hear another voice speaking to them. That voice, the serpent. This serpent was questioning Eve about what she knew and about what she believed about what God’s Word.
Life Before Sin & Life After Sin
Fresh from the high of sin, they face a sound they were familiar with. It was the stride of an all powerful God. One they knew as generous, compassionate and kind, but one that contained vast wisdom and infinite power. They knew God to be true to His Word, and as they basked in His generosity, they braced for His judgement. The sound of God walking in the garden had once brought about peace, and now it stirs up fear in both of them.
God must discipline the disobedient!
God returns from heaven to discover that they creation that He has given everything to has chosen to yield to the influence of another source, state a declaration for independence. God sees mankind as His child. Man is His glorious creation; His pride and joy. He would now come face to face with a child that has brought such joy, and have to navigate the pain caused by their disobedience. To date, His lessons have been instruction and information, and now the lesson will be through punishment and discipline. He loves man unconditionally, but also has a relationship that requires accountability. This characteristic in their relationship will require God to punish them for their choice.
A Sound that Should bring Peace can bring about Fear!
It is this knowledge that makes them hide from the sweet sound of God in the garden. Reading this passage, I thought of us. I saw us eating from all forbidden trees. Our bellies are full with the seed and pulp of the very things God has forbidden. We are listening to every voice; willing to compromise ourselves by disobeying God. Our lives are filled with idols. We find ourselves bowed and worshiping people, places and things, while the one who is worthy of praise find Himself ignored and or one of many advisors to His creation.
We like Adam and Eve call ourselves having a blast, all with the full knowledge that God would return to the garden. Adam and Eve knew that God would return. Though they didn’t have his personal schedule, they were aware that He would come to spend time with them, teaching and releasing them to take dominion on the earth He placed them in. Yet, they listened to another voice, and began focusing on the promise of a new voice, as opposed to finding peace with the promise of the one that had provided for them all things.
He Will Return?
And like Adam and Eve, we have been assured of His return. Furthermore, we continue to sin, and serve as our own God’s. This we do, again, knowing both His promise and fully aware of His warnings. He has promised a future judgement, and has scripted two options for eternal rest. He has described hells fire, and the ongoing torment of the soul of those who dwell there. And yet, there are too many who entertain the serpent, and continue traveling on the narrow path.
The fear of God walking in the garden is relative to the actions of man before His return. We don’t have to fear God’s return. We should be looking forward to His return, eager to sit again at His feet and learn from His Word and Worship Him. Are you excited about His return or fearful of His return? As children, we knew we had chores to do on the weekend, and the response of our parents upon their return would be relative to the actions we took towards their instructions. Being obedient, would net praise and adoration, while disobedience would net correction restrictions. It was all up to us.
The Disobedient Priest/Prophet
Looking at Adam has a priest of his home, a prophet even, I was bothered that Adam had once taught only what came from God, and was willing to cosign with a teaching that come from another. He was created and called by God, empowered and placed by God. Given authority and dominion in a place, as have many of us. Though He knew to fear Him, the love and fear he had from Him was not enough to keep Him from speaking and leading without Him. It was not enough to keep him from breaking the covenant with God. And sadly, amidst all the fakes and phonies, there are some that are genuine servants of God that have become corrupt and broken the established covenant God has established with us.
We must love God so intensely, that we commit not to sin against Him. We must value Him such, that we are committed to bringing glory and honor to His name. We must stand by His Word, bearing witness to its truth, and resist the challenges that come in from those who desire to breed doubt in the life of those who have heard from God.