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. Genesis 3:8 (NIV)
When my kids were little and we played hide-and-seek they would hide in the same place time after time. Nevertheless, each time I went through the room saying, “Oh where could they be?” I heard their giggles from behind the curtain. They hid with the anticipation of being found. When I did find them, we all laughed and began the game all over again.
Last night, I wallowed a bit in self-pity. I hid myself away in a dark bedroom and played the day backward in my mind. Realizing sin—mostly my own—was at the heart of my brooding, I began to pray. I confessed with tears of remorse. I knew God forgave my sin and felt compassion for my hurt feelings.
In those moments, I identified with Eve in the Garden after eating the forbidden fruit in a way I hadn’t before.
Usually when I read through Genesis regarding Eve’s submission to the temptation of the serpent, I am a bit judgmental. “She knew better…She had access to everything good…She walked with God on a daily basis…How could she defy the one command God had given?”
But last night, I saw her actions in a different light—and focused on her covering her nakedness and hiding.
Wasn’t I doing the same thing? Wasn’t I covering myself in darkness, feeling defeated again by my sinfulness (my selfishness), hiding?
It was then the Holy Spirit helped me to see my desire to be found. I realized my heart’s desire was to be found out, forgiven, and embraced.
I wonder if Eve was hoping for the same thing. I’m sure she was ashamed. But in her heart of hearts, I bet she was hoping God would find, forgive, and embrace her.
Prior to eating the fruit, she had only known good—she was surrounded by a world God said was, “Very Good.”
“The knowledge of good and evil.” Now, she was aware of evil.
“You shall surely die.” Now, perhaps, she was beginning to understand what death felt like.
My heart went out to Eve last night. Unlike Eve, I know God has forgiven me. I am convinced that in Christ, he will not condemn or exile me from his presence. Instead, God comes seeking to restore me into fellowship with him—I whisper my confession and then God embraces me with his sweet loving grace.
Yet even in God’s curse, he made a promise to Adam and Eve (and to you and me!)—Eve’s seed, her descendent, would be bruised on the heel, but he would ultimately crush Satan’s head—and thereby restore the right relationship between God and mankind.
In the darkness of our shame, God’s promise shines and brings hope!
Jesus Christ seeks us, brings us into the light, forgives our sin, and embraces us in his loving arms.
He is the way back into God’s favor. “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6 (NIV)
Oh, praise God! I was lost but now I am found!