“Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings. 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?’” Genesis 3:7-9
You and I were created for intimacy with God. After the fall God came to the garden to walk with Adam and Eve and they were hiding from His presence. That walking with Him was a habit is evident by the reason they were hiding: “They heard the sound of the Lord walking…” How did they know it was the Lord and not an animal or the wind? I think it was the time of day He regularly came, and He never missed this appointment. You’d think that their sin would have caused the Lord to stay away, but He came as He always did as if to say, “I haven’t left the place of intimacy, you have.”
He asked, “Where are you?” not to get information, but to bring this first couple to a place of confession. This is the first question God asked in the Bible and I believe that He is still asking it today: “Where are you?” People today are hiding from God and from one another and it is leading to emptiness and depression because we were made for intimacy. Some of us hide in our work, others in bitterness, still others in alcohol, entertainment, or pornography, yet God is still asking, “where are you?”
Genesis 3:21 says, “The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them.” The killing of an innocent animal to make a skin is the first physical death in the Bible and it points to the need for a sacrifice to make atonement. Jesus was the Lamb of God who was sacrificed for the sins of the world. All that was required for Adam and Eve to have God clothe them was to take off the fig leaves they had sewn to hide themselves, and put on the skin God had made. Today God calls us to lay down whatever front we’re hiding behind whether it be pride, religious behavior, or our own self righteousness, and confess our faith in His sacrifice. He Himself then clothes us with the righteousness of Christ so that we can be forgiven and restored to His Presence. He’s still asking, “where are you?” today because He still longs to walk with each of us in the place of restored intimacy.