By Wayne Greeson
The Lord God had planted a beautiful garden in Eden and there He had placed the first man and woman. Adam and Eve were given only one law of restraint: “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” (Gen. 2:17). Satan came and deceived Eve by twisting God’s Word. Eve broke God’s law and sinned by eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. Then she gave the fruit to Adam and he also sinned and ate of the tree. Upon eating the fruit, they realized their nakedness and covered themselves. Then they heard the Lord walking in the garden and, in their shame and sin, they tried to hide themselves from God. “And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, ‘Where art thou?'” (Gen. 3:9)
God’s question to Adam is the first recorded question in the Bible. It was a relevant question of tremendous importance. The questioned was asked by the God who had walked and talked with Adam and Eve before and from whom they now shamefully hid. He was their Creator, the all-knowing and all-seeing Jehovah (Psa. 139:1-10). Try as they might, they would not hide from God; He knew where they were.
If the Lord knew where Adam and Eve were, why did He ask? God did not ask the question for His sake, but for Adam and Eve’s sake. He wanted them to realize where they were and why they were there. They were separated and hiding from the fellowship of God in shame because of their sin!
The first question recorded in the Bible is still a relevant and important question today. God is still asking, ‘Where art thou?” He asks the question of you and me. He knows the answer. How will you respond?
With Respect To Salvation
If you are of the age to know right from wrong then you have transgressed the law of God and sinned. “Where art thou?” God asks. Are you trying to hide from God behind your sin and shame? Try as you might you will never hide from God, just as Adam and Eve could not hide from God in Eden. Do you really understand just where you are as a sinner? You are not really hiding; you are lost and headed for eternal destruction.
Jesus declared, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). He gave up everything to look for you. He “made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a servant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Phil. 2:6-8). If you understand where you are as a sinner, it is time to come out from hiding, be found by Jesus Christ and become obedient to Him in faith and baptism.
When The Saints Assemble
When the saints assemble together on Sunday morning, Sunday evening, Wednesday evening and during gospel meetings to worship God and study His word, “Where art thou?” God knows where you are when you are not meeting with other saints. He sees each and every person who professes to be a Christian who is sitting home watching TV or out bowling or playing golf when the saints are assembled to worship God. As David asks, “Where can I go from your Spirit? Or where can I flee from your presence?!’ (Psa. 139:7)
In John 20:19-20, the disciples were assembled together on Sunday evening, except for Thomas. We do not know where Thomas was, but we know where he was not. In ‘his* absence, he missed the fellowship of the other disciples, the encouragement and shared faith and above all he missed having fellowship with the. Lord.. Fortunately the next Sunday, Thomas came out from hiding from the assembly of the disciples and was present with the disciples when Jesus appeared again. Will you come out of your hiding place this next Sunday and Wednesday evening?
When There Is Work To Be Done?
The Lord told the prophet Jonah that he had some work for him to do. The work was to go and preach to the city of Nineveh. “But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa, and found a ship going to Tarshish; so he paid the fare, and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord” (Jonah 1:3). Jonah tried to pull the old Adam and Eve disappearing act on the Lord and he was just as unsuccessful as Adam and Eve. Jonah learned a hard lesson that he could not run away from the Lord and the work the Lord had for him to do?
“Where art thou” when there is work to be done for the Lord?Are you running and hiding as Jonah and Adam and Eve had done before? When the building needs to be cleaned or repair needs to be done, where art thou? When it comes time to make a contribution for the work of the Lord, where art thou? When visiting and teaching needs to be done, where art thou? It is truly amazing how quickly people disappear when the Lord’s work needs to be done. You may hide from the elders, the preacher and even yourself, but you will never be able to run away from God when His work needs to be done.
On The Day Of Judgment
“Where art thou” when the day of judgment comes? Will you be on the left hand of the Lord ready to go into everlasting fire or on the right hand of the Lord ready to go into heaven? Where you were with respect to salvation, when the saints assembled and when there was work to be done, will determine where you will be on the day of judgment. Sadly, many will be in the same place they have always been – hidden from God. Those who spent this life hiding from God in sin and darkness will spend an eternity hidden away from God in shame in the farthest reaches of darkness.
It is time to stop hiding from God. It cannot be done. All one ends up doing is hiding from himself and reality. Come out into the light of God’s salvation, be present when the saints assemble, be present when the Lord’s work needs to be done and you will be on the Lord’s right hand ready to inherit heaven on the day of judgment.
Guardian of Truth XXXI: 3, pp. 78, 87
February 5, 1987