This question is found within the creation narrative of Genesis, in verse 3:9. The belief that God is omniscient causes me to wonder for whose benefit the question was being asked? Certainly God knew where Adam was? Adam’s fear based response in Genesis 3:10 was “I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid, because I was naked.” Same garden, same voice, same nakedness but now Adam is afraid?
God’s next rhetorical question was, “Who told you?”
Where am I going with this? I am not sure but that in our sin sourced paranoia, we have not given God a bum rap? Adam, fearful of his newly discovered nakedness hides from the Creator who interestingly enough actually created Him naked! Nakedness does not bother God…we came in naked and will leave naked. The covering for Adam was more about His needs than God’s disgust! Our challenge is not with God but the spin that sin puts on our nakedness and the guilt that has come to us from the one who told us we were naked!
My thoughts are also driven by a growing awareness that man’s best shots at religion have tended to paint a poor picture of the loving God who created us. A loving being, best reflected by the thoughts of intimate walks in a “garden,” totally free from guilt and negative self awareness. It is the enemy of our souls and his minions (one of which may be organized religion) that describes a wrathful God, who is ashamed of whom we have become.
Sure sin brought a curse…God’s aversion to sin is the toll it takes on His creation…his “friends,” as Jesus the God-man once described us. Religion reinforces that same negative image and sadly now has tainted the image of the Body of Christ as well. As one person recently described Paul, a man formally steeped in the Law who was “found” by Christ on the Road to Damascus, then shifted his thoughts from the Law toward Grace. Now, religion in some 2000 short years has taken us back to that law…even strictly defining the “laws of grace” among various denominations as naive believers attempt to come to God via the institutions of man.
As warned by Edward Mote (1797-1874), the song writer, one “dare not trust the sweetest frame but wholly lean on Jesus Name” when it comes to understanding the scriptures and then only in a vulnerable and most open relationship with the Holy Spirit, with mentors more in love with Christ than theological credentials.
Was God caught off guard by Eden? I think not, for He had foreordained that He would become flesh in the man Christ Jesus, long before even the earth’s creation. Mankind was caringly created, subject to vanity in hope, but not without remedy provided by His loving foreknowledge, so that we not perish, even though unrestricted in our ability to choose right from wrong.
It’s almost as if there was a battle in the heavens long before there was a Creation on the Earth?
Is. 14:16-17 provides insight into this saga as he writes of Lucifer:
“They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;
That made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?” (KJV)
So, Genesis may actually serve in part to pick up on a narrative of redemption then already ages old, that crushes the plans of this fallen angel? If so, Revelation 22:1-2 then delivers the full hope of our return to this intimate place with our Creator:
“And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” (KJV)