July 21, 1999


Genesis 3:9
___At the age of seven, I learned something about the kind of fear that went through the mind of Adam and Eve when they heard "the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day." No, I didn't hear the Lord's voice but I did hear my grandfather's voice. Of course he put it on a personal level when he asked, "Hubert, where are you?" Since Hubert is my official name I knew he meant business.
Pete Freeman
Pastor, First Baptist Church, The Woodlands

Earlier, I told my grandmother that she couldn't spank me. Than she used those words that struck fear into my heart. She said, "Okay! But remember, when your grandfather comes home he will deal with you." I hid from him. When he got home, I could hear my grandfather calling out, "Hubert, where are you?" He knew where I was! He just wanted to give me a chance to take the first step in owning up to what I had done.
___Genesis 3:9 records the most penetrating question in the Bible. It is applicable to a person who has never known God on an intimate basis or to a believer who has drifted away from that intimacy. It is a question that every believer ought to ask everyday.
___Note that the question is asked in the context of a broken relationship. Prior to the asking of the question, two significant aspects of Adam and Eve's relationship with God are apparent. The first is concerned with spirit of that relationship. They had lived in a "wholesome fellowship with one another and God. They had not seen themselves over against God and each other but accepted each relationship without question."
___Into that age of innocence stepped distrust. Immediately the wholesome fellowship that existed between the Creator and the created was impaired. The "we" attitude between God and man had now become an "I and thou" attitude.
___Their change in attitude determined their action. They hid in the buses. B. H. Carroll said that "sinners take to the brush just as soon as conscience speaks." It is amazing how we always try to ignore our own accountability when we realize we are not where the Lord wants us to be. We react in fear and alienation but the Lord reacts with grace and reconciliation.
___Derek Kidner said that "God's first words to fallen man has all the marks of grace." Note that God attempted to draw man from his hiding rather than to drive him out of hiding. God is depicted as a "gentle father seeking out his own." God is calling them out in a way in which He can offer them reconciliation. He is continuing to do the same for us today. God is much more willing to demonstrate mercy and grace toward us than He is to deploy judgment. Like Adam and Eve, we have a choice as to how we respond to the question. " Where are you?" If we're not where we ought to be, we ought to admit it and then hurry to be where we ought to be.

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