Devotionals Genesis

Upsetting the Conscience

When pastoring a Church in Welkom in the then Orange Free State, I managed to join a fishing club, not to do fishing but to have access to one of their fishing dams. I would pack my lunch, water, books and Bible and go there, unlocking the gate and finding a spot where I could park the car in the shade and I would sit and read and pray. It was the most exhilarating time because it was behind a huge slims damn, far from any people and peaceful. It was … me alone with God … as it were. I enjoyed those times where I would have my Bible in hand, walk around reading a passage and talking to God about what He said in that passage. Although I could not see God it was as though he was right there with me. You might have had such times. They are precious, meaningful and intensely close to the Lord. Kindly read:

Ge 3:8 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. 9 But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10 He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 11 And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” 12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

1) The realization of sin no sooner dawned when another challenge confronted them. Nakedness was in itself a ghastly experience as it demonstrated the severity of what they had done … and now

Ge 3:8 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.

(1) God – the pre-incarnate Christ. Who walked in the garden? Was it the Father or was it the Son? Consider …

Jn 1:3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17 He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Heb 1:2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.

As we read these passage we see that God the Son, the Lord Jesus is said to have been the agent in creation. Now take other passages … if you like, read through Genesis 18. I have selected a few random verses to make a point …

Ge 18:1 The LORD appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby.

Ge 18:10Then the LORD said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Ge 18:22 The men turned away and went toward Sodom, but Abraham remained standing before the LORD.

Ge 18:33 When the LORD had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

From the start of the chapter we find the LORD appearing to Abraham. Abraham saw three men. One of the men was the LORD. He said that in a year’s time Sarah would have birthed a son. Two of the men turned towards Sodom whilst the LORD remained with Abraham. After Abraham pleaded for Sodom because his nephew Lot and family were there, the LORD left him. Theologians call God appearing to man a Theophany. In essence, this is God the Son appearing to man, as man … as the Angel of the Lord, the pre-incarnate Christ. I wonder if God meeting Adam and Eve in the Garden in the cool of the day was God the Son … after all, the Godhead created through Him and He appeared to man in the Old Testament as the Angel of the Lord before He came as God incarnate in Jesus Christ!

(2) Frequent visits seems to be indicated.

Ge 3:8 the man and his wife heard the sound of the LORDGod as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Ge 3:9 the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?

It is not unreasonable to take these verses implying there were frequent communion between God and Adam and Eve. If God was so pleased with His creating, especially man in his image and likeness … one with who He could fellowship with, it was natural that God visited Adam and Eve in the Garden. After all this was the paradise of God. It was sinless, beautiful and holy … until a few verses back!

(3) Cool of the day. From personal experience I can vouch that the best time of the day in oriental countries for a walk is much later in the day … even at night. That is the coolest time of the day. During the safer times in South Africa, we would see family taking a stroll in the early evening … in the cool of the day. What comes to mind is the most pleasant and comfortable time to meet up with God. In our modern world this will vary from person to person. I have always felt that after a good night’s rest, waking up early to meet with the Lord, when the house is quiet and  the day has not started to be busy was a good time. The pattern I have followed largely is:

Mk 1:35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.

If it was a good time for Jesus to meet with His Father, surely it is a good time for you and me to meet with our Heavenly Father! However, you need to find the time of day that suits you, your program, your household, your career or schooling.

2) The shame of sin turned into hiding because of sin.

Ge 3:8 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.

Have you noticed that when people do wicked things, such robbery or murder, they go into hiding? Do you recalled when you stole that cookie from mom’s cookie jar and you heard her shoes making a noise on the wooden floor as she approached the kitchen and you hid in the pantry? Why did you hide? You did wrong. You felt guilty. You knew there would be consequences. This was our fore-parents! They sinned … actually, they rebelled against God and knew it! The shame of nakedness before each other was bad … and now to stand in front of God! That was excruciating! You and I do the exact same thing when we sin. We hide from God! Hiding is not praying, not reading our Bibles, not going to Church, not fellowshipping with God’s people. We think hiding will remove our guilt, appease our consciences, removed the filthy feelings and bring cleansing to the heart … but we are wrong. It did not work with Adam and Eve and it shall not work with us either.

Lord we know that the safest place to be is within a health intimacy with you. Help us to acknowledge when we sin and seek pardon soon to prevent us hiding in shame from You. Amen.

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