When Adam sinned he ran and hid himself from the presence of God. I heard a Jewish rabbi talking the other night on the radio, and he said that once a very godly Jewish rabbi was in jail. The jailer was interested in the old man. He went to the rabbi and said, “Rabbi, I’ve got a theological question I’d like to ask you, out of your own Bible. Do you believe God knows everything?”
“Oh, certainly,” said the rabbi.
“Well, how is it then that God said, `Adam, where art thou?’ If God knew where he was, why did He ask?”
“Well, son,” the rabbi said, “that’s not hard. God said, `Adam, where art thou?’ not because He didn’t know where Adam was, but because Adam didn’t know where he was. The question was asked of Adam. Adam was lost, not God.”
God knew where Adam was, but Adam didn’t know where he was. Adam was alienated from God, and I think the old rabbi had the explanation right.
- A. W. Tozer, “The Attributes of God”