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A Church in the Park

September 2020

Hiding from God’s Presence

And 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.  Genesis 3:8

Christians agree that the Bible speaks great truth, a truth that is unwavering from the earliest of written accounts.  We love how in our study of Ephesians the truth of God’s Word tells us that we are free, God has done the work already in His Son Jesus Christ, and while there is diversity in the Body, oneness is a higher call, oneness only possible in and through Him.  Such truths are what we long for as created beings. 

But, how shall we respond to truth when it hits a bit closer to home?  When truth arrives with an intent to correct or perhaps urge us higher in our spiritual disciplines and pursuit of Him?  How shall we respond to God’s Word when it illuminates our tendency towards sin, and its natural impulse to hide from a God that loves us?  Do we love it just as much when the Bible speaks these truths?

Early in the Biblical account we find  Adam and Eve hiding from God, their God with whom moments earlier they enjoyed perfect and harmonious relationship.  Let that sink in to your mind.  Hiding.  From God.  One moment walking with God, the next moment hiding from Him.  On the face it seems preposterous.  Silly.  Fool hearted.  Something a child might try.  Hiding from God? 

We understand Adam and Eve.  Immediately, we feel their need to hide.  God has placed understanding within each of us to intuitively know that His holiness, and our inability to be holy, are in conflict.  How can a God that is perfect accept the worship of beings that are not?  This circular logic has stretched the ruminations of thinkers for millenniums, around and around they go. Do you believe that we are immune from such faith crises? Think again. 

Adam and Eve demonstrate how quickly we place our inadequacies on the line in our relationship with God.  Sin fractures relationship with God, casting feelings of unworthiness upon ourselves.  Hiding from God happens lest we are displined and on-guard and fight it with the truth of God’s Word.

The psalmist writes in Psalm 57:1, Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me.  While our tendency may be to play proverbial peek a boo with God, David reminds himself, and us too, of the opposite truth.  Our God is merciful and we need not hide.

May I remind you that our God is for us!  He gave us His very own begotten Son to save us from our rightful condemnation and to bring freedom.  Will we live in light of the Cross and such a gift?

Beloved, His mercy is great!  His is a tender mercy, gentle, loving, healing the broken hearted.  It is a great mercy.  There is nothing little with God.  His mercy is so great that it forgives great sins to great sinners, after great lengths of time and fallenness, and then gives great favors and great privileges and great joys.  It is a rich mercy.  There is no single mercy, it is an abounding mercy.  Generations have received it, yet it is far from being exhausted.  It is full and available and refreshing for those that drink it up.  And maybe the best of all, it is an unfailing mercy.  When I fall down, when I run and hide, His mercy does not.  He patiently waits for me to seek Him with my whole heart.

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me.

Aren’t you so very thankful? 

Peace to you, Pastor Jeff