March 01, 2018

Where Are You?

Genesis 3:1-9; John 14:1-7

The Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?"

—  Genesis 3:9

The first question God asks in the Bible may seem a bit strange. We might think God would ask, “What have you done?” since Adam had disobeyed God’s instruction not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden. But the question God asks is “Where are you?”—and, of course, God knows exactly where Adam and Eve are.

God’s question makes clear to us that we cannot hide from him (Psalm 139:7-12), that we belong in his presence, that he made us to walk with him. But the guilt of our sin pushes us to try to hide. We try to cover up or run away, not wanting to face up to what we’ve done.

The time of Lent, the forty days before Easter, gives us an excellent opportunity to focus on the “where” of God’s question: our walk with God. The Bible uses the word “way” for the first time in Genesis 3:24, saying that the “way” back to the garden was blocked by an angel with a sword. But God loved the world so much that he provided the way back to him, and to full life again, through Jesus Christ, who said: “I am the way and the truth and the life.”

Walking with the Lord means constantly answering the question “Where are you?” and emerging from our hiding places—that we may see ourselves in the light of God’s grace. It’s a good question to ask at the beginning of each day this month.

Have your own way with me, Lord, and keep my feet on the path that leads to eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Arie C. Leder

Dr. Arie C. Leder is the Martin J. Wyngaarden Senior Professor of Old Testament Studies at Calvin Theological Seminary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He previously served as pastor at Ebenezer Christian Reformed Church, Trenton, Ontario, and with Christian Reformed World Missions in Latin America. He teaches courses on the Pentateuch and on historical books of the Old Testament.

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