“Then the Lord called to the man, and said to him, ’Where are you?’ “ -Genesis 3:9
I remember the first time I read that I thought to myself, “why would God ask Adam where he is? God obviously knows exactly where Adam is…” It seemed like an odd question to ask in that moment. I would expect God to ask “why have you done this?”, but instead he asks Adam where he is. If we look deeper into that question, God isn’t asking Adam for his actual location in space. God asked the question for Adam to bring his awareness back to where he was in relation to God, and give Him a chance to be reconciled with Him. God is not asking for Adam to answer to Him, but for Adam to answer to himself and his own heart and realize where he is.
Before original sin, we were completely integrated and connected with God. When Adam and Eve sinned, that connection was broken and we became dis-integrated. God calls to Adam “where are you?” because he felt that disconnect through their sin. The same is with us every time we sin. A sin is not just breaking a rule in the church or doing something bad, it is deeper than that. A sin is us disconnecting from God and harming our relationship with Him. Each sin pushes us further and further away from Him, and each time God will call out to us “where are you?”, in hopes of grabbing our awareness back. God wants to help us and heal us, but in order to do that we need to be present to Him and open.
Think about when you are talking to a friend about a difficult situation or something they did to harm you, and you can tell that they are completely elsewhere in their thoughts, or “hiding” in a way. You ask them “where are you?” as a way to help them come out from hiding, but not in a manner that is accusing them. God did the same thing with Adam. Our natural tendency when we sin, is to run and hide, just like Adam and Eve hid and covered themselves. God wants us to come out to the open to Him so He can heal what was wounded. He calls to us “where are you?” as a gentle way of inviting us to come out from wherever we are hiding in that sin and bring it to Him so He set us free from its bondage.
So, where are you?
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