Called: A 40-Day Devotional

Day 1: Called Out of Hiding

September 23, 2013 by Tom Keppeler
Tags: genesis 3

But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” —Genesis 3:9-10

Day 1_Trees

The cry of the desperate mother filled the store as she frantically searched for her lost little boy. Ben, where are you? Ben sheepishly stepped out from behind the rack of dress shirts. Crisis over. Mother relieved.

In the opening pages of the Bible God calls out—not frantically but persistently to Adam and Eve: “Where are you?” Like Ben, Adam and Eve were hiding—but unlike Ben, they were playing no game. The setting in which God calls out sounds idyllic, soothing, peaceful; he is taking a stroll in the garden in the cool of the day. Yet for Adam and Eve there was no peace as they hid among the trees—hiding their shame, their nakedness, their guilt, their sin. Yet, God calls and pursues them. He calls out: “Adam and Eve, where are you?” God is not ignorant of their whereabouts but rather, his calling out is the first picture of God pursuing fallen, sinful human beings in order to rescue and restore them.

Adam’s response to God’s gracious pursuit is fear and hiding. “I heard you in the garden. I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” This blunt confession of Adam rings true to how humanity lives even today. Why was Adam afraid? Because his true, naked, fallen self was exposed. What does he do? He tries to hide from God’s presence “among the trees.” Today, people do the same thing— hiding one’s sin, brokenness, and nakedness “among the trees”—and there is a whole forest full! The human race hides behind the trees of denial, respectability, busyness, false intimacy, status, wealth, power, alcohol, or drugs. The forest is full and it is not hard to find a tree to hide from God’s pursuit. Yet God calls— not because he doesn’t know where people are—but because in fact, he does see us. The “hound of heaven” pursues us with what John Wesley described as a “gracious pursuit with a view to recovery.” Time to come out from behind the trees. God is pursuing. No need to be afraid. God calls: Where are you?

Ponder: Do you ever feel like you are hiding or running from God? What does your “tree” or hiding place look like? 

Family Talk

God allowed Adam and Eve to eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. But Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate from the one tree that was off limits. In that moment, sin entered the world.

Read Genesis 3:9-10 as a family. How did Adam and Eve react when God called out to them? Why? Have you ever done something wrong that made you feel like hiding? What happened? Read 1 John 1:9. How does God respond when we mess up? How is God’s response to us encouraging to you?