Years ago, I recall scanning through adverts looking for a gardener, someone who'd look after my mother's garden. Perhaps that was in the back of my mind while preparing my thoughts for this chapter. Adam, the first human created, was the first gardener, since we read: "The LORD God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden; and there He placed the man whom He had formed. Then the LORD God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it." (Genesis 2:8,15) "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. Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:8,9) There were two separate readings there: one from chapter 2 when everything was still perfect; and the second from chapter 3 when suddenly there was tension in the garden. What had happened between the two readings? Of course, our first parents had eaten the forbidden fruit. Their disobedience had shattered their relationship with God. Notice this, before any human ever thought of looking for God, God was looking for us! "Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, "Where are you?" (Genesis 3:8,9). But wait a minute, why does the all-knowing God ask where they are? It's so that we might recognize we're lost without him. For unless we confess our lost state before God we cannot be found, we cannot be saved.
Hide and seek
I remember as a child, playing hide and seek with my parents. I'd run away and hide behind some chair in the house, and if they were taking too long to find me, I'd start shouting out some clues. I was keen to be found - the excitement was in being found! Imagine trying to hide from God! Adam tried it, and Jonah was no more successful either: because you simply can't hide from God - one man in modern times who tried to hide intellectually from even the very idea of God later spoke about how he came to sense that 'the hound of heaven' was on his trail - so there was no hiding.
What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus. Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.
2 Timothy 1:13-14