Posts Tagged ‘Ayeka’

Genesis 3: 9: But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

This past Sunday (6/7/15) the Old Testament Lesson was Genesis 3: 8-15, when the man and woman hide in Eden because they had eaten the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  The Lord God asked His first question, “Where are you?” which in Hebrew is one word, “Ayekah?“. “Indeed the only reason for middle names is to give your parents a way of letting you know that your life as you have known and lived it up to that moment is over because of something you broke, or said, or did, or hit” (From Rabbi Marc Gelman’s sermon, “Where Are You?”). And the first question in the Scriptures is the serpent’s question, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” Between the serpent’s question, “Did God actually say…?” and the Lord’s question, “Where are you?” are the polar opposites of evil and good.  The serpent wants to use the word for his curved in upon himself ends, not to obey and listen to God’s Word.  The serpent, the devil, has no interest in actually helping Adam and Eve but only feigning ‘care’ and ‘compassion’.  He seeks only to “devour” (1 Peter 5:8)  Adam and Eve and you, but the Lord in the very act of seeking and asking “Ayekah?”, He demonstrates He cares. Only a true Father searches for His lost children (St. Luke 15: 11-32).   The serpent is only interested in the Lord as a third party to be discussed and eventually dismissed so that the serpent has Adam and Eve to himself.  The Lord asks Where are YOU? (emphasis my own) because He has created us in the reciprocity of intimate relation:  I/Thou.  Man does not take God at His Word in true faith but only wants to take His Word to misuse it for themselves. 

Maybe the childhood game of “hide n’ go seek” has it’s foundation in the Genesis 3!  The man and the woman hide and the Lord seeks, as He is God in search of man.  But in Genesis 3 this is no game. Yet, in the game of  “hide n’ go seek”, the child who is “it” is kind of like God, powerful, in so far as “it” is the only one free to go searching but the Lord is all powerful and all knowing and actually free, He knew where Adam was hid. So why did the Lord God ask?  The  Lord wanted to give Adam, and Eve, an opportunity to confess.  The Lord’s question was and is the probing question of the Law:  Where are you?  Where are you in life?  Where are you this day?  Adam was looking only now to himself as the serpent’s false promise duped him: you will be like God.  Adam’s faith was now in himself, not the Lord, looking to Him alone.People think they can hide in plain sight but from the Lord no secrets are hid.  We know the Lord’s question that day was one of the Law because of Adam’s answer: I was afraid and so I hid, because he was naked before the living God. Adam confessed only his feelings of guilt, the symptoms, not the sin. 

It is scary, say after gossiping and lying, to be found out.  Too many think just being found out is bad, no, it is the deed of gossiping and lying that is bad, and though seemingly a peccadillo,  a small sin, it can lead serpentine-like to greater temptations and sin. Yet the Lord’s question was for HIs grace as He allowed the crown of His creation the dignity to answer and confess.  I was afraid and so I hid.  It was no confession, yet the Lord God’s grace is evident. Yes, the Lord punished Adam and his wife, Eve but He also clothed them.  Adam and Eve had made clothes for themselves out of fig leaves but what we do to cover up is insufficient for any wrong we think, say or do.  All the self-made pious and religious works of man will not cover-up wrong. Later the Lord Himself made clothes for them, not of plants but of  skins. Only the Lord can cover us,

Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? (St. Matthew 6)

Finding us in the nakedness of wrong, He has clothed us in the garments of righteousness, of our baptism in into Christ, His death and resurrection,  lost  and found, hidden and bought.

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