On the very brink of eternal ruin!
‘And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?’ Genesis 3:8–9
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Joel 2:12–17
Though sin through its deceitfulness may appear pleasing in the commission, in the end it bites like a serpent. Guilt, shame and fear had seized our first parents, but what was past could not be recalled or undone.
(i) The Lord’s appearance. The expression is remarkable—the voice of the LORD God walking. Some think the word walking agrees with voice. They heard the voice or the word of the Lord, that is, he whose glorious and essential name is the Word of God. He who in the fullness of time was to put away their sin by the sacrifice of himself, was now coming to deal with them, not in judgement but in mercy.
(ii) The effect on them. They hid themselves. How great a change! Before, no doubt, his visits were welcome, but now they trembled, because they had sinned. They no longer deserved the knowledge of God. Thus it is with all their posterity. Instead of gaining an increase of knowledge, sin had made them so stupid that they thought to hide themselves from an all-seeing eye—at least it intimates the greatness of their terror. Thus when the Lord visits a sinner’s conscience, how fain would he hide, and seek a refuge in lies: ‘I am not so bad as others’ or, ‘I will be better’ and so on.
But the Lord calls, Adam where art thou? Why not joyful at my approach as formerly? Thus he speaks, not for information, but to bring them forth and to bring them to a confession. Where art thou? Alas, how fallen! Where art thou, sinner? Alas, under the curse of the law, in a state of enmity with God and, of course (if mercy prevent not) upon the very brink of eternal ruin.
FOR MEDITATION: I hardly feel any stronger proof of remaining depravity than in my having so faint a sense of the Amazing Grace that snatched me from ruin, that pardoned such enormous sins, preserved my life when I stood upon the brink of eternity and could only be preserved by miracle, and changed a disposition which seemed so incurably obstinate and given up to horrid wickedness. Well may I say, O to grace how great a debtor!
SERMON SERIES: GENESIS, NO. 9 [1/3], GENESIS 3:8–13