1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’ ”
4 “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5 “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
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.”
I squeezed my eyes shut and started counting aloud. My fellow third-grade classmates tore out of the room to find a place to hide. After scouring every cabinet, trunk, and closet for what felt like hours, I still couldn’t find one of my friends. I felt ridiculous when she finally jumped out from behind a lacey, potted fern hanging from the ceiling. Only her head had been eclipsed by the plant—the rest of her body had been in plain sight the entire time!
Since God is all-knowing, when Adam and Eve “hid from [Him]” (Genesis 3:8) in the garden of Eden, they were always in “plain sight.” But they weren’t playing any childhood game; they were experiencing the sudden awareness—and shame—of their wrongdoing, having eaten from the tree God told them not to eat from.
Adam and Eve turned from God and His loving provision when they disobeyed His instructions. Instead of withdrawing from them in anger, however, He sought them out, asking, “Where are you?” (v. 9). It’s not that He didn’t know where they were, but He wanted them to know His compassionate concern for them.
I couldn’t see my friend hiding, but God always sees us and knows us—to Him we’re always in plain sight. Just as He pursued Adam and Eve, Jesus sought us out while we were “still sinners”—dying on the cross to demonstrate His love for us (Romans 5:8). We no longer need to hide.
Psalm 139, Far Too Wonderful
Out of Hiding
Scripture to Respond
7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
When have you tried to “hide” from God? How has He sought you out? Are you willing to throw yourself into His bosom again?
Father God, thank You for seeking me out and demonstrating Your love and care for me despite the ways I wrong You and hide from You.
Wong Wai Tung
(Chief executive officer of The Great Wall Education Foundation) &
(Administrative officer of The Great Wall Education Foundation)