Three words. Its a pretty simple question. Yet at the same time it is perhaps the most primary question we should perhaps ever hear. Each morning we should hear it whispered to us as we awake and each evening as we snuggle up in our bed, the question: “Where are you?”
It is the original God question: “Adam (lit. “Man”) “Where are You?” It is the very first question God asks in the Bible and perhaps the most important one for us to answer on a regular basis. “Where am I anyway?” We need to hear the question being asked and consider Who is asking and why He asks the question in the first place.
I have come to see God is the original question asker. This brings me some measure of comfort because I have been accused of being altogether too inquisitive over the course of my life. When others are content to listen I am asking questions (often to the disdain of my classmates or my fellow workers).
The interesting thing is the Lord is not the one who is at a loss for where man is. Man is. God knows precisely which cluster of trees the guilty couple are hiding behind at any given moment. What is perhaps most amazing is that God doesn’t say “There you are! I see you! You aren’t fooling anybody!”
The Lord simply asks the question “Adam, Where are you?” He let’s that question echo out over the garden and echo down through the ages and then right into our heart this very moment. “Where are you? We must replace Adam’s name with our own. “Bob, Where are you?” “Where are you with me?” “with obeying what I’ve said” “with enjoying what I intended?” At times I must hear my own heart painfully respond “O God, I am so not where I should be but I don’t want to deal with it so here I sit ashamed in the shade of my own condemnation.”
Spurgeon told his students who wanted to become preachers: “When you read this verse “Adam, where are you?” if you read it as a policeman would “Adam! Where are you!” in an angry accusing tone, you do not belong in the ministry. He said you must read it with the tone of a brokenhearted father searching for a lost beloved child.
Remember God knows the answer before He asks the question. The question is for our sake not His! He asks because it is we who do not truly know where we are and need to hear that our loving Father is yet seeking us out and loving us still. Hear Him say to you this moment “Come out Come out wherever you are!”
David prayed “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Ps 139:23-24