“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (Genesis 3:8, NKJV).
This verse is the first revelation of the sense of the soul toward God, resulting from distrust and rebellion. It is the sense of sin. They hid because they were afraid. Their fear was not the outcome of any change in God. The change was in themselves. They had yet to learn that there can be no hiding from God.
And, moreover, they had yet to learn that their only chance of restoration lay in that fact that there could be no hiding from Him. They had cut themselves off from the possibility of communion with Him, but they had not escaped either from His law or His love. These are the supreme revelations of this story.
How true all human experience is to that first picture! The fear of God which prompts men to desire to escape Him, and to hide from Him, is as potent today as ever. The hiding may take the form of denial of His existence, of rebellion against His law, of indifference to His claim.
It is always the same, a dislike of God, born of fear; and it is always caused, not by what God is, but because of what man is. The fear of God is ever a witness to the holiness of God, even though it be a proof of ignorance of His love. Insofar, therefore, it is a principle of real value. In that sense the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. But it is only the beginning.
If when in spite of our hiding, He finds us and makes known to us His love, yet we persist in fleeing His presence and refusing His claims, then we commit the sin that has no pardon, nor can it have. That is what Jesus described as eternal sin. The only safe hiding place from the holy wrath of God is in the wounded heart of God.
There is a Tree that will hide us, but that is the Tree where we find God in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself.
Adapted from “Searchlights from The Word” by G. Campbell Morgan. In the public domain.
G. Campbell Morgan (1863-1945) was a Bible scholar and evangelist. He served as pastor of London’s Westminster Chapel from 1904 to 1919 and 1933 to 1943.