Summary: This sermon examines God's question in Genesis 3:9: "Where are you?" It looks at where are Adam and Eve in relation to God. It looks at where we are, and where God can be found. This sermon also uses the analogy of Hide and Seek to advance the thought.
For some reason, it seems that every kid loves the game, “Hide and Seek.” My siblings have always enjoyed it. My cousins have always liked it, and it is one of my nephew’s favorite games. The children of my friends always want me to play it with them as well. Kids love to hide, and then to be found. They get a rush from hiding in a spot and hearing you say, “Where are you?” They might even give you a hint when you say that by knocking or by giggling. When you have a good spot and they find you, they might even take it the very next turn because it is so good! There is something about “Hide and Seek” that not just kids, but people enjoy. Perhaps it is the thrill of finding that missing person, or tying to disappear by hiding. Maybe it is the desire to be the best at hiding, or maybe the pride of catching everyone when it is your turn to seek motivates you. People love the game of Hide and Seek. It is a game that humanity enjoys. As we look at our Genesis text this morning, we see a game of Hide and Seek going on in the Garden of Eden.
Our text unfortunately begins with trouble in Paradise. God had just created the world and made everything good. He made Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life. He gave him the task of working and keeping the Garden of Eden. God gave him a purpose. He also gave him a companion, Eve, who was to be his helper and partner. They both were naked, and they were not ashamed. Adam and Eve were allowed to live in this garden, and they could eat from any tree of the garden except from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. For when they would eat of it, they would surely die, both spiritually and physically.
But now enter Satan, who slyly slithered toward them as a sweet-speaking serpent. With reassuring words, and empty half-truths, Satan hissed his lies to Eve, and she ate the forbidden fruit. When she saw it was pleasing to the eye and good for food, she gave it to her husband, Adam, who was with her, and he ate.
As they chewed, their eyes became opened just like the serpent had said. They now knew good, the good they had lost. And they now knew evil, the evil now within them. Sin had corrupted and defiled them and their nature. They lost their original righteousness, purity, and innocence. Their nakedness, a sign of the healthy relationship between them, now became something unpleasant and filled with shame. In fact, their nakedness reminded them of their sin and shame. So they tried to cover it up. My brother knows what that is like
My brother once took a piece of my birthday cake prematurely. One day, he walked out of the kitchen with a beautiful, mouth savoring piece of funfetti cake with vanilla frosting. Wanting a piece myself, I said, “Where did you get that?” He said, “The kitchen” “Was it from the pan next to the oven wrapped in tinfoil?” He said, “Yeah, why?” “Well, that is my birthday cake that is supposed to be for later! Put it back!!!” And so, he did. He put the slice back in the cake, and used sprinkles to cover up the slice marks. The only problem? It was the only spot with sprinkles on the cake! The cover-up had its limits. It wasn’t fooling anyone! It is the same with Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve try to cover up their sin. Instead of going to God, they try to fix the problem themselves. Their guilt, sin, and shame lead them to a self-atoning, self-protecting, self-preserving procedure: they must cover themselves. They use fig leaves to cover themselves. It They put sprinkles on the cake. It works in hiding their nakedness from each other, but not before God. They later take it one step further. Once they hear God, they decide to hide in the trees of the garden. They use the old Hide and Seek logic of “If he cannot see me, he cannot find me!” But ultimately, that never works. You only fool yourself. You will be found. Man cannot cover-up, atone for, or pay for his own sin. Adam and Eve will find that out.
It is here that the game of Hide and Seek begins. As God walks in the garden at the cool of the day, they decide to hide themselves among the trees. So, God calls out, “Where are you?” It is normal thing to say when looking for people, or even animals. You might get the person’s attention, and they might say, “I’m over here.” Perhaps the animal might hear your voice and come running back. However, it is strange for God to ask this. Why? He is the Creator of the Universe. See Genesis 1 and 2! He knows exactly where they are. He is not clueless. Instead, it is a question meant for Adam. It is an invitation, not a condemnation. It is a call of mercy and love. It is a question of self-realization: where are you in your relationship with God, Adam?