97…98…99…100…Ready or not here I come. We’ve all probably played the childhood game of hide and seek. Trying to remain still and quiet so that we would not be found. Or maybe trying to move about in order to be even more elusive. I had a nephew one time hide so well that he fell asleep and no one could find him. On the other hand, there are others who can’t help but giggle and always seem to be among the first ones found.
In a way, you could say that mankind has been playing hide and seek with God ever since Adam. After Adam and Eve sinned by listening to the serpent and violating God’s commandment their first instinct was to try to hide. “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?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.”” (Genesis 3:8–10, NASB95) Their second instinct was to blame someone else, but that is a topic for another time. The big question for this article is “where are you?”
We know that God, being all-knowing, knew where Adam and Eve were hiding. So, why did He call out that question? It is not difficult to arrive at the conclusion that the question was meant to stir Adam and Eve into looking at their situation. That Adam and Eve would ask themselves, where are we? How did we go from enjoying God’s presence to fear and hiding? At this point, we all want to go “duh, you ate the fruit.”
God’s question of “where are you?” is for us as well. Where are you? Not your GPS coordinates but where are you in relationship to God. Are you still trying to hide from Him? Are you still trying to cover sin and the shame and guilt that accompanies it? Shortly after taking my new job in a school district I was walking down a hall alongside a kindergarten group going somewhere. One of the boys looked up at me and said, “are you supposed to be here?” “I hope so.” I thought to myself. Where are you? Are you supposed to be there? Unlike the childhood game of Hide and Seek the one who evades the seeker does not win. After all, God knows where and what we’ve been hiding all along. Consider the words of Psalm 139:7-12
I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
(Psalm 139:7–12, NLT)
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