To begin with, it is imperative to write briefly about the concept of `where`. “Where” being adverb of place, refers to “at or in which place”. “Where” is an adverb that qualifies the meaning of a sentence by telling us places things happen. This adverb of place always answers one important question: Where? (Ginger Software 2017).
One can imagine how frustrating it could be to seek the one you love and not find him or her at the designated places (s). This is echoed in the feelings of Solomon´s wife. She narrates her story that,
by night on her bed, she sought him whom her soul loves: She sought him, but found him not. She told herself “I will rise now, and go about the city in the streets, and in the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but I found him not” (Son3:1-2).
God Visits Adam and his Wife
God had been visiting Adam and his wife for fellowship in the cool of the day. But one day, He visited them at His usual time of visitation but they had disappeared from where they were supposed to be located. He had to search for them until he found them. This story is read from the book of Genesis as presented below:
“And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. 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? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?” (Gen 3:7-11).
It is read that God created Eve to be with Adam because God said that it is not good for a man to live alone (Gen 2:18). If God provided social support to Adam, why was it necessary for Him to continue to visit man in the Garden of Eden? God created human beings to be together so that we could interact with each other and reap the social, emotional, psychological and other benefits of being with one other. God still wants to be part of our lives as people. He still desires to have an un-breaking relationship with man. He has myriads of Angels to be with, but He still seeks human fellowship and be in koinonia with them. God speaks to children of men as a man speaks to his
neighbor (Ex 33:11)
I Heard Thy Voice
Adam and his wife had sin (Gen 3:6) and had fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23) but God called out to them while they were still hiding (Gen 3:10). God does not completely cast out the backslider. He still communicates to them if peradventure they would come back to Him. When Cain murdered his brother Abel, God spoke to him and sought his repentance (Gen 4:10), but he
refused to come back to Him. God has not rejected backsliders. He still calls out to them through His prophetic word. It is read that the prodigal child came to his senses and returned to his father(Lk 15:17-23). For a sinner or a backslider to come back to their senses, it is the work of the Holy Spirit of God because, it is Him, who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment (Jn 16:8-9). The Bible records God´s invitation to the backsliding Israel as quoted below:
“Surely as a wife treacherously departeth from her husband, so have ye dealt treacherously with me, O house of Israel, saith the LORD. A voice was heard upon the high places, weeping and supplications of the children of Israel: for they have perverted their way, and they have forgotten the LORD their God. Return, ye backsliding children, and I will heal your backslidings. Behold, we come unto thee; for thou art the LORD our God” (Jer 3:20-22).
Every believer still hears the voice of God when s/he commits sins, but if s/he ignores this voice of God and continues in their sins, the enemy blindfolds their eyes (2Co 4:4), seals their ears, and also sears their consciences (1Ti 4:2) and disconnects them completely from God, making it very difficult for them to return to Him, as it is being lamented in Hebrews 6:4-6. At this point, they no longer hear God´s voice, thus making it impossible for God to hear their cries and save them (Isa 59:1-3). At this point, people do hide themselves from His presence as a result of their iniquities.
Hiding for Being Afraid
The moment man (Adam and Eve) fell, they recognized that the presence of God about them had been withdrawn from them. They were left vulnerable because the enemy had gained access into their lives. The wicked flees when no one pursues but the righteous is as bold as a lion (Pro 28:1). They understood that the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23) because God had already made it clear to me that they would surely die should they disobey His instructions and eat of the forbidden fruit (Gen 2:17). Fear of death and fear, in general, has torment, so those who are fearful are not made perfect in love (1Jn 4:18).
What alluded Adam and Eve was the recognition that God is love and that He would not punish forever. Jeremiah writes convincingly that the Lord God told him that the backsliding Israel had justified herself more than treacherous Judah. So he was sent to go and proclaim His words to them (Jer 3:11-12) to “return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the LORD; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the LORD, and I will not keep anger forever. Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the LORD thy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the LORD. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer 3:12-15).
Instead of withdrawing from God´s presence to hiding among the trees, Adam and his wife should have run to God with a feeling of remorse to seek forgiveness and reconciliation with Him. When believers sin, they usually leave the church and abandon their responsibilities toward God. This should not be so. Again, when men and women of God sin, they are mostly expelled from the church even if they repent and are willing to continue with their service to God. We tend to forget the words of the Apostle which advises believers to abstain from sin, but if it happens that any should fall into sin, there is an advocate with the Father, who is in the person of Jesus Christ (1Jn 2:1). God requires believers genuine repentance when they sin against Him. God is merciful so must Christians be, and must end character assassinations and the attitudes of continuously reminding people of their past sins. All believers need to remember that sin is not encouraged by the
Word of God because it renders believers naked.
It could be said that God desires to live among men and to fellowship with them. When a man commits sin, God´s grace multiplies correspondingly so as to restore the man unto Himself. People run away from God because of sin, but He still demonstrates His love towards them. It is written that when we were yet sinners, God commends His love towards us, in that He sent Christ Jesus to come and He died in our place (Rom 5:8). Your sins should not drive you out of the Kingdom of God. If you fall, get up, feel sorry for it and run back to God to receive forgiveness and power to continue with Him. God still loves you.
Prayer: Almighty God and the Prince of Peace, we thank you for your love for us as your children. We have sinned in a number of ways against you, for not obedient to your word. We ask your forgiveness. May you empower us to renew our love and commitment to you, and help us to live in obedience to your holy word. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!