Where Are You?

Every teacher knows that questions can be great learning tools. The Bible is filled with thought-provoking questions. The very first question in the Bible is found in Genesis 3 when God asked our first parents, “Where are you?” Of course, God knew where they were. They were filled with shame because of disobedience, and were trying to hide from their loving creator.

The Bible doesn’t tell us all about creation we’d love to know. Moses seemed to be in a hurry to get to the “big event,” which, in the Old Testament, is the exodus. More space is devoted to God’s leading his people from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land than to any other event. Of course, we live in a scientific age and would have loved to slow Moses down to ask about the Ice Age and dinosaurs! But he moved quickly through the era of creation.

The first two chapters of Genesis deal with the majesty of God’s wonderful creation. On the sixth day he formed man and woman and set them up as his vice-regents to rule the earth. They had one prohibition—they were not to touch the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

However, the tempter came and told them a different story. He told them they could be “gods yourselves” if they ate from the tree (Genesis 3:5). Therein is the essence of what the Bible calls sin. It is our desire to cast off any restraint and be our own god.

Therefore, we read the piercing question of the Lord: “Where are you?” In other words, Adam, you are now your own god. Are you in a better place, or not? The answer was no. The results of this first rebellion was disappointing.

And still it is. Humanity that has rejected God is living beneath its privilege. God is merciful and kind. He invites us rebellious ones to come to him for forgiveness and reinstatement into his royal family.

Alfred Nobel of Sweden awoke one morning to read his own obituary in the newspaper. His brother Ludvig had died and the reporter confused his facts. Today we’d call this “fake news”!

Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, read that he was a proponent of war and a merchant of death. It was disturbing. He decided to change his legacy. He determined to leave his considerable fortune to fund an annual peace prize and to honor those who make the world a better place. And it’s true that Nobel is best remembered today as the proponent of peace rather than the proponent of war.

God specializes in change. His power is available to change our lives and to change our legacies.