Jump Start # 2709
Genesis 3:8 “They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.”
Our verse today takes place after Adam and Eve ate from the tree which God said not to. They knew they were wrong. Later, when God confronts them, fingers will be pointed and blame will be passed down the line like a hot potato game. But here in this verse, they are hiding. God is walking and Adam is hiding. He is hiding behind trees. Maybe he’s hoping God will just walk on past and go home to Heaven. Maybe he thinks God won’t be able to find him. But God knew. He always knows. Adam had all the trees in the garden he could eat from. There was just one that was off limits. Satan had Adam focused upon that one tree. Rather than counting all that he had, Adam looked at what he did not have. Satan is so subtle and deceptive.
Hiding behind trees—is such a profound thought. Even today, all these generations later, we still hide behind trees. Our trees are not literal, but they serve the same purpose. We hope no one will notice. We hope that we can get away with what was done that was wrong. Hidden in a forest of trees, we believe that we won’t be discovered. Our little secret will remain a secret. Time will pass, people will forget, God is loving and everything will be just fine. Just stand a bit longer behind a tree and then you’ll be able to come out and get back to doing things.
Here are a few things about standing behind a tree:
First, it generates a life of deception. The one who hides behind the tree is not about confessing, being honest and even changing. He’s trying to avoid the consequences of his wrong doing. He’s hoping that he gets away with murder. And, as unpleasant as consequences can be, living a life of hiding isn’t much better. We hide from this and we hide from that and before long it becomes even difficult for us to know what is right. We’ve learned to run to the woods and find a big tree to hide behind. Our trees come in many species, such as lying, or, blaming others, or, believing something couldn’t be wrong because nothing bad happened. So many trees, and so many ways to hide.
Second, we get upset with others when they hide behind a tree, but see nothing wrong when we do it ourselves. We want others, especially our kids, to be honest with us. No excuses. No tree hiding. However, we don’t have too much difficulty running off to find a tree for ourselves. That double standard and inconsistency kills any good that we try to accomplish.
Third, God always knows. God can see around a tree, over a tree, through a tree or under a tree. God knows. You can hide from others, but you never can hide from God. So, as Adam thought about hiding, God already knew. God knew before Adam reached the tree. God knew all along. So, hiding behind a tree really never works. It doesn’t accomplish what we thought it would. It never is successful.
Fourth, God is more forgiving and patient when we are honest, rather than hiding behind a tree. Seeking God’s mercy by being meek and humble, that broken and contrite heart, moves God. When God has to come looking for us and when He find us hiding behind trees, His patience runs thin.
Finally, human nature drives us to hide behind trees. However, we are not operating under human nature. We are following the steps of the Savior. Doing what everyone else is doing, isn’t helpful. You’ll find most in the woods, standing behind a tree. Doing what is easy is nothing more than running to a tree. Easy, popular are not the same as doing what is right.
Where I live, there are all kinds of beautiful large trees behind our home. This fall, the colors have been most beautiful. Large trees are now dropping all sorts of leaves in my yard. As great as these trees are, God never intended for me to hide behind one of them.
Hiding behind trees is yet another failed way that man tries to put a band-aide on his broken relationship with God. What he truly needs is be honest, broken and coming out from behind the trees. We need to come home to Jesus and not run to the woods.