And the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, Where are you?…
1. Mark the alienation of heart which sin causes in the sinner. Adam ought to have sought out his Maker. He should have gone through the garden crying for his God, "My God, my God, I have sinned against Thee. Where art Thou?" But instead thereof, Adam flies from God. The sinner comes not to God; God comes to him. It is not "My God, where art Thou?" but the first cry is the voice of grace, "Sinner, where art thou?" God comes to man; man seeks not his God.
2. And while the text manifestly teaches us the alienation of the human heart from God, so that man shuns his Maker and does not desire fellowship with Him, it reveals also the folly which sin has caused. How we repeat the folly of our first parent every day when we seek to hide sin from conscience, and then think it is hidden from God; when we are more afraid of the gaze of man than of the searchings of the Eternal One, when because the sin is secret, and has not entrenched upon the laws and customs of society, we make no conscience of it, but go to our beds with the black mark still upon us, being satisfied because man does not see it, that therefore God does not perceive it.
3. But now, the Lord Himself comes forth to Adam, and note how He comes. He comes walking. He was in no haste to smite the offender, not flying upon wings of wind, not hurrying with His fiery sword unsheathed, but walking in the garden. "In the cool of the day" — not in the dead of night, when the natural gloom of darkness might have increased the terrors of the criminal; not in the heat of the day, lest he should imagine that God came in the heat of passion; not in the early morning, as if in haste to slay, but at the close of the day, for God is long suffering, slow to anger, and of great mercy; but in the cool of the evening, when the sun was setting upon Eden's last day of glory, when the dews began to weep for man's misery, when the gentle winds with breath of mercy breathed upon the hot cheek of fear; when earth was silent that man might meditate, and when heaven was lighting her evening lamps, that man might have hope in darkness; then, and not till then, forth came the offended Father.
I. We believe that the inquiry of God was intended in an AROUSING SENSE — "Adam, where art thou?" Sin stultifies the conscience, it drugs the mind, so that after sin man is not so capable of understanding his danger as he would have been without it. One of the first works of grace in a man is to put aside this sleep, to startle him from his lethargy, to make him open his eyes and discover his danger. "Adam, where art thou?" Lost, lost to thy God, lost to happiness, lost to peace, lost in time, lost in eternity. Sinner, "Where art thou?" Shall I tell thee? Thou art in a condition in which thy very conscience condemns thee. How many there are of you who have never repented of sin, have never believed in Christ? I ask you, is your conscience easy? — is it always easy? Are there not some times when the thunderer will be heard? Thy conscience telleth thee thou art wrong — O how wrong, then, must thou be! But man, dost thou not know thou art a stranger from thy God? You eat, you drink, you are satisfied; the world is enough for you: its transient pleasures satisfy your spirit. If you saw God here, you would flee from Him; you are an enemy to Him. Oh! is this the right case for a creature to be in? Let the question come to thee — "Where art thou?:" Must not that creature be in a very pitiable position who is afraid of his Creator? You are in the position of the courtier at the feast of Dionysius, with the sword over your head suspended by a single hair. Condemned already! "God is angry with the wicked every day." "If he turn not, He will whet His sword: He hath bent His bow and made it ready." "Where art thou?" Thy life is frail; nothing can be more weak. A spider's line is a cable compared with the thread of thy life. Dreams are substantial masonry compared with the bubble structure of thy being. Thou art here and thou art gone. Thou sittest here today; ere another week is past thou mayest be howling in another world. Oh, where art thou, man? Unpardoned, and yet a dying man! Condemned yet going carelessly towards destruction! Covered with sin, yet speeding to thy Judge's dread tribunal!
II. Now, secondly, the question was meant to CONVINCE OF SIN, and so to lead to a confession. Had Adam's heart been in a right state, he would have made a full confession of his sinfulness. "Where art thou?" Let us hear the voice of God saying that to us, if today we are out of God and out of Christ.
III. We may regard this text as the VOICE OF GOD BEMOANING MAN'S LOST ESTATE.
IV. But now I must turn to a fourth way in which no doubt this verse was intended. It is an arousing voice, a convincing voice, a bemoaning voice; but, in the fourth place, it is a SEEKING VOICE. "Adam, where art thou?" I am come to find thee, wherever thou mayest be. I will look for thee, till the eyes of My pity see thee, I will follow thee till the hand of My mercy reaches thee; and I will still hold thee till I bring thee back to myself, and reconcile thee to My heart.
V. And now, lastly, we feel sure that this text may be used, and must be used, in another sense. To those who reject the text, as a voice of arousing and conviction, to those who despise it as the voice of mercy bemoaning them, or as the voice of goodness seeking them, it comes in another way; it is the voice of JUSTICE SUMMONING THEM. Adam had fled, but God must have him come to His bar. "Where art thou, Adam? Come hither, man, come hither; I must judge thee, sin cannot go unpunished."
( C. H. Spurgeon.)
I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself. —
Parallel VersesKJV: 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?"