They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:8-9)
Have you ever thought about God’s perspective that early evening when He approached Adam and Eve in the Garden after they had sinned? The way the scripture reads, you get the sense that it was a regular habit of His to join them for a walk in the cool breezes at the end of the day, to spend time with them and talk with them. He loved them and enjoyed being with them. But now, sin had broken their sweet fellowship, and He approached them with a broken heart, knowing that everything had changed, and it would be thousands of years (in their world) before things were made right again.
In an instant, every painful moment of mankind that would be the result of this sin flashed through the all-knowing mind of God. He knew the heartache, the destruction, the destroyed relationships, the addictions, the fear and anxiety and depression, the physical bruises and the wounded hearts that would plague mankind down through the ages. He felt the rebellion that would come as a result of Adam and Eve’s momentary lapse of faith in the goodness of the God who created them.
Yet, He kept walking toward them.
He could have written them off. He could have simply withdrawn His presence from the world and allowed them to eat of the tree of life, gaining immortality in their fallen state. Sin would win the day and the world. Without restraint, the wickedness of man would go unchecked until, I believe, the world would simply have destroyed itself and every soul would have spent eternity in darkness and separation from God.
God could easily and understandably have given up on Adam and Eve, and decided to start over somewhere else.
But He kept walking toward them.
God walked into their mess and confronted them with their sin. He didn’t hide it. He didn’t excuse it. He held them accountable, but mercifully gave them a “stay of execution” and made a promise that one day He’d deal with the consequences of what they’d done.
He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel. (Genesis 3:15)
Four thousand years later, God walked into our mess again. This time He came in the form of a tiny baby born of a virgin. God is a keeper of promises, and so Jesus came to finish what God started in the garden.
He walked toward us.
How much God must love us!
How much He must want us!
He didn’t give up in the garden, and He doesn’t give up on us today. He’s still confronting people with their sin, holding them accountable, and showing the way out. Jesus accomplished what was necessary to restore us to that sweet fellowship of walking with God in the cool of the day.
Do you think God has given up on you?
Have you given up on someone?
Christmas reminds us that God didn’t give up on us. We just have to be willing to come out from our hiding place when He asks, “Where are you?” and own up to what we did.
I’m so thankful God didn’t turn away from us but pursued us with His love and grace. As we celebrate Christmas, may we have His heart for those still hiding behind the trees, and encourage them to come walk with the Father. He won’t turn away, and He won’t give up.