God's Question
Genesis 3:9-12
And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?…

"Who told thee that thou wast naked?" or how is it that this nakedness is now a cause of shame to thee? Wast thou not clothed with innocence, with light, and with glory? Didst thou not bear the image of thy God, in whom thou gloriedst? Didst thou not rejoice in all the faculties which He had given thee? Why, then, art thou despoiled, covered with shame, and miserable? Hast thou sullied the garment of innocence and purity which I bestowed upon thee? Hast thou lost the crown with which I adorned thy brow? Who, then, hath reduced thee to this state? "Who told thee that thou wast naked?" Adam is confounded and speechless before his Judge. It is necessary, then, to deepen the conviction which he feels in his troubled conscience. It is necessary to give him a nearer view of the evil which he has committed, by putting to him a still more home question. It is necessary to set full before his eyes the mirror of the Divine law. "Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" My brethren, what instructive lessons does this simple question contain! Let us pause here for a moment, and direct our thoughts to this important subject. And, first, remark that God, in order that "He might be justified even when He condemned," with a condescension which was intended to redound to His own glory, pronounces no curse, nor even a sentence of condemnation upon man, until He has first convicted him in his own conscience. But this condescension of the Lord towards man was also intended to subserve the happiness of the creature, by leading him to repentance, and, through repentance, unto salvation. The Lord, by the question which He puts to Adam, confronts him with His holy law. Man, the sinner, will then no longer be able to withhold the confession of his guilt, under the plea of ignorance. "I commanded thee," saith his Judge, "thou knewest thy duty, the full extent of thy responsibility, even the tremendous sanction of the law and the penalty of its violation." If, then, Adam perish, it is his own fault. But the Almighty, in reminding man in so solemn a manner of the command which He had given him, designed not merely to lead him to confess that he had sinned knowingly and willingly, and that he had made no account of his awful responsibility, but also to show him the real nature of his sin. "Hast thou eaten of the tree whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?" I gave thee a command, hast thou violated it? This is sin — the violation of the law of God, disobedience, rebellion. That sin would have been the same, in point of nature, whatever had been the object of the command. For us, as well as for Adam, for every responsible being, sin is simply that which is opposed to the Divine law.

(L. Bonnet.)

Hast thou eaten of the tree?

Parallel Verses
KJV: And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

WEB: Yahweh God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?"

God's First Words to the First Sinner
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