God longs for us, just as parents yearn for their children. The Bible beautifully portrays God’s immense love and desire for our presence. He wants to be with us. God continually extends a warm invitation, eagerly awaiting our return. How delighted God is with our presence! The Holy Spirit graciously unveils divine mysteries to us, revealing the depths of God’s affection.
The Bible we read today unveil the very heart of God. He searches for Adam and Eve, perhaps revealing Himself in the form of Jesus. Adam and Eve, touched by His gentle voice, hear Him call out, “Adam! Eve! Where are you?” A serene breeze accompanies this encounter, creating an idyllic atmosphere. It could be the start of a peaceful morning stroll or the waning hours of a tranquil afternoon. God traverses the familiar path that Adam and Eve have always treaded together, not in haste but with patient intent. His visit to the Garden of Eden is not fueled by anger or a desire to judge. Instead, He arrives with hopeful anticipation, yearning for a joyous walk by their side. Yet, God’s divine perception alerts Him that something is amiss.
“Where are you?” This question transcends mere physical location. It is not that God is unaware of their whereabouts. In fact, God knew that something grievous had befallen them. He sensed the anguish of their souls, severed from their divine connection. God foresaw the consequences that would arise from their unfortunate choices. As He contemplated the suffering that lay ahead, His heart was filled with sorrow. However, God respects their capacity for free will and the choices they make. Although partaking of the tree of knowledge of good and evil was a misguided decision, it had already come to pass. A divide emerged between God and the first humans, leading them to fear and feel shame in His presence. As they gradually descended into a state of spiritual decay, God’s compassion towards them grew. He yearned for the joyful moments they had shared, now tinged with longing.
God poses the same question to us in the present: “Where are you?” Are we truly immersed in a deep connection with God? Are our hearts brimming with divine peace and love? Are we experiencing genuine happiness? Are our hearts saturated with the unwavering love of God? Do we navigate life’s moments clothed in the righteousness bestowed upon us by God? Are we consistently making choices aligned with goodness, righteousness, and integrity? God’s call echoes through the depths of our souls, and God ask us: “Where are you?”
Even in the face of failures, let us not lose heart. God extends an invitation to a sanctuary of restoration and healing, where His longing for us remains constant. His desire is for a profound and unbreakable bond, a flawless connection of love.
When shame weighs upon us, let us attune ourselves to the gentle voice of God. He graciously adorns us with garments of righteousness, restoring our dignity. Through His boundless mercy, He forgives our shortcomings and conceals our shame.
God calls us. He asks, “Where are you?” God says he always misses us. He lovingly expresses, “I miss you even you are by my side.” When our affections are directed elsewhere, God experiences a sense of solitude. If our hearts wander away from Him, He perceives a distance between us. Have you sensed the longing of God? It is the Holy Spirit’s grace that enables us to perceive it. Through the Holy Spirit, we can discern God’s hunger for our love.
We do not want to miss the holy time of fellowship with God. Let us cherish the sacred moments of communion with God. As we wholeheartedly fix our attention on Him, our minds and hearts engage in a divine fellowship. In this intimate connection, we can sense His abiding presence, and God finds an opportunity to meet us.
The joy within God is immeasurable when we engage in prayer. He is filled with holy anticipation as we humbly approach His presence. How eagerly God awaits the moment of worship! He consistently looks forward to the occasions when He comes before us each Sunday, desiring to meet with you.
The sacred communion we seek is fostered through unwavering focus and steadfast faith. Let us recall the account of Abel and Cain, where Abel’s offering found favor with God, while Cain’s did not. The disparity lay in their respective focus. Similarly, those who assemble on Sundays with fervor to encounter God exemplify the spirit of Abel’s sacrifice. They wholeheartedly fix their attention on God’s presence throughout worship.
Like the accumulation of water droplets forming a vast lake, God bestows the joy of meeting Him upon those who diligently seek Him day by day. By cultivating a heart that consistently seeks God, we receive the blessed privilege of communion with Him.
We want also recall that God provided garments of skin for Adam and Eve. The fig leaf serves as a symbolic representation of our human endeavors to live righteously. However, the skins bestowed upon them were obtained through the sacrifice of animals, signifying the righteous holiness attained through the sacrificial death of Jesus.
God bestowed upon Adam and Eve the garments of skin, symbolically and as a promise, declaring His intention to grant them a fresh opportunity for life through the self-sacrifice of God Himself, who exists in three Persons.
Let us not overlook the significance of that sacred garment. As recipients of the Holy Spirit’s gracious gift, we are endowed with a holy and beautiful nature, and it is our utmost desire to embrace it fully. By living virtuously and embracing the abundant grace bestowed upon us by God, we will ultimately rediscover His presence along the tranquil paths of Eden.
God ardently awaits our return to the righteous path, yearning for the restoration of our original holy nature and the state of our souls. Let us strive to bring joy to the heart of our longing God, who eagerly anticipates our alignment with righteousness.
When God poses the question, “Where are you?” I extend my blessings in the name of God, that you may always approach Him with joy and confidence as you seek His presence.
The Holy Trinity, June 4th, 2023, Genesis 3:8-9
Pastor John Kim, Lakeridge Lutheran Church