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“Where Are You?”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
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April 23, 2022 4:00 am

“Where Are You?”

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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April 23, 2022 4:00 am

Most of us have questions we’d like to ask God. Well, He has questions for us too! Listen as we consider seven questions God asks, beginning in the garden of Eden. Hear God’s question—and Adam’s all-too-familiar response—on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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Most of us have questions.

We love God, we might be surprised to know that God has some questions for us as well. Today on Truth for Life weekend we begin a series titled seven questions God asks Alistair Begg begins with God's first question to Adam in the garden of Eden where in Genesis chapter 3, we have seven questions which will be the focus of each Sunday evening the first of which comes tonight in Genesis chapter 3 as incidentally does next Sundays. If I remember correctly going to do what we did down at the University and that is read only the immediate verses that relate to the question which means that we are reading the very brief section. Big that begins at the eighth hours.

Then the man and his wife Hera, the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden, but the Lord God called to the man where are you he answered I had you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid. As a result of some extensive research, namely that I check with my colleagues in the office. I'm able to report that while climbing trees is no longer involved hide and seek is a children's game is apparently holding its own. And this despite the growing impact of the microchip on the things that children love to do and it is an interesting feature of life that no matter where we've gone in the world and I think you would be able to concur with this crossing racial and language and geographical boundaries.

You don't have to look too hard to discover that children it would seem everywhere play with one another at hide and seek.

Which made me ask the question, who started hide and seek, and I concluded this week in my studies that it must've started right here in Genesis chapter 3 that what we have here is the original hide and seek.

Of course, this one is not a game in fact is we're going to see this one is deadly serious.

The context at least the wind context in which our question comes this evening here in these opening chapters of Genesis is a context which makes a statement concerning how our world is tonight and fight it makes a unique statement giving an account of why it is that the world is as it is, indeed, if you have searched and researched.

You will be hard-pressed to find in all of ancient literature any other piece of writing which gives an explanation for the origin of sin and misery in the world whether a person accepts this explanation or not. One has to be honest enough to recognize that an explanation is offered.

Usually when you come to the early chapters of Genesis. If you're in discussion with people at all in questions of biology or astronomy or because marginally become the focus of the conversation that ensues and it would be a stranger tonight if there weren't those kind of questions in your mind what I'm going to ask you to do is to set them aside, at least for now, because they're illegitimate they are legitimate but they may prove eventually to be a diversion from putting ourselves in the position where we are responding to the question that God is asking rather than the we are the ones asking the question.

The question that is being asked is very straightforward is just three words, God said to the man where are you where are you now the general context is the statements of origin and the specific context and if you have a Bible open, you'll be able to verify this. Just by looking over the verses before you the immediate context is of disobedience.

It's of a cover-up. It's of hiding and it's of excuses I be surprised if any one of us has not employed at least one of those mechanisms in the week that is passed and what we discovered is that the central character here, namely Adam, who has been made by God and made for God is actually running away from God and that in itself is not unique either because shrinking from God is something in which each of us share Adam here in Genesis 3 is blazing a trail away from God. He's attempting to solve the story of life to give an explanation to reality while at the same time turning his back on the God who has made it, leaving God completely out of the picture, and in that respect is not unusual is not dissimilar to many people in Cleveland.

The scene, and perhaps even some who are here. You may have come tonight and you have made your journey through life to this point in life, seeking to explain life to make significance out of life. While all the time running on the road away from God's plan as we discover proves to be as futile as it is foolish, and despite the fact that it is foolish and futile. The road is crowded with people, although not all there in the Genesis 3, but very quickly the company grows. When Paul writes about the company he speaks in these rather remarkable terms in Romans chapter 1 he says the Roth of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness is not simply that they don't understand the truth. It is that they suppress the truth. What may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to what Paul is referencing here is essentially the creation narratives and he's saying God established the universe.

He made the world he put man woman in that world and very quickly began to run from him tonight. I say to you again that men and women are running down that very crowded street now to make that kind of decision is not inconsequential in fact, the Bible makes it clear that the consequences are significant and if you read this for your homework and I hope some of you will you will discover that man quickly becomes dislocated dislocated from his environment dislocated from himself, dislocated from his spouse and as it turns out, dislocated from his children thus posing the question for any thoughtful person. How is it ever possible that somebody could be put in the position of such pristine beauty and such wonderful opportunity and make a hash of it so quickly and so detrimentally that's really the question this on many people's minds as they try come to terms with the circumstances in which we are living now any thinking person with their newspaper before them, and with life before them in the mirror is forced somehow or another to try and make sense of this. Why are things the way they are and simultaneously man by nature says whatever the explanation may be. I am not buying any explanation that has to do with the creator God with man turning his back on God with the consequences that emerge from that and so he or she steps out on the road of life to try and make sense of reality. Absent the existence of a God to whom they are accountable and what Genesis 3 is saying essentially is this that the moral and spiritual phyla, the rank on the freeway of 21st-century society is directly tied to the response of Adam to all that God had provided for him in the pristine beauty of these original day there with that is the context in which this question is set. Let me observe three things concerning the question I'm going to take just a moment on each of them. You may be assure I want to suggest to you that this is first of all, an unusual question unusual in this respect.

First of all, that it turns on its head. The common notion which is that man is looking for God and God is hiding from man that somehow or another, God has taken the telephone off the hook if he exists. He is not returning calls, he cannot be reached, that he is hiding somewhere in the universe and there must be a mechanism whereby we can go and discover him of the Bible is actually saying here is the total reversal that that we are the ones who are hiding from God and God is the one who comes asking all of is the question where are you it's unusual secondarily in so much as God is not in need of information.

So why is he asking a question.

If God knows everything. Why is he asking where randomness while in one sense it is rhetorical, but as we'll see in a moment.

It is more than that when God asks questions in the Bible it usually in order to provide information to those he is addressing so that an actual fight by posing this question. He's asking Adam and Eve to face up to where they really are. Where are you he wants Adam to discover where he is. And thirdly, it's unusual, inasmuch as it has more than a geographical or physical dimension to it. It's a bit like when you meet somebody these days and they said you where are you in your head dollars. That is a very interesting question where are you in your head, and ours was going on in there behind your eyes. Where are you really while I'm here is I know you're physically here. I know you're geographically there, but where are you where are you at whatever my beak. That's what God is really sick know where you at Adam where, what, where are you at face up to where you are at. This is where you where look at where you are. Where are you, some unusual quest secondly is a kind question and fight the fact there is a question is ipso facto kind God did need to ask a question God could have reacted in many different ways.

If he reacted strictly injustice he could've brought about the sentence of death that he had promised instantaneously immediately and let the whole thing up for but he comes with a question to draw them out rather than to drive them.

He appears in the garden not with a stick to chastise nor with them without fraud to poke but he comes into the garden and it is his voice which pierces their hidden territory. So it is a very kind question isn't that he comes by means of his voice.

What we have here is actually the very first indication of God's grace after men and women of turned their backs on him. What's the very first thing God is going to do after he's given them clear instructions do this do this do this to this to this and have a lovely time but don't do that and they do that we're all here is what is he going to say no comes with a question scared me. Where are you.

As for the Bible calls grace. Where God does not give to men and women what they justly deserve.

But on the basis of his immense kindness Langston men and women. What we don't deserve no more so when, in the incarnation, he comes in the person of his son the Lord Jesus Christ and he is word made flesh, people marveled at the words that he spoke he spoke with kindness and straightforwardness, tenderness and care is surely striking is another when God steps down into time that he comes to speak and in speaking not to condemn but to convince them to draw the religious authorities of Jesus. They hated the fact that he did this.

I didn't like the fact that he was there as a shepherd that he was seeking to save lost people. They are living far happier if you came just to establish a religious club and put a lot of people are that were just like them knew a lot of things in their heads but they were never changed by they didn't like the flag that he was very happy to go to the promiscuous and called that he was happy to go to the dregs of society and reach them that he was happy to go to the tax collectors and the thieves and and the folks who were disreputable and speak to them call out if you're thinking you must've reach this question. Haven't you what is there in Adam to compel God to go looking for you have your answer. No, nothing.

So why does he do because of the kind of God he's. It is his kindness, which draws men and women to turn their backs on sin and turn to him in repentance. God operates according to his own good pleasure.

His approach to men and women is the approach of life becomes announcing his intention to say it is not only an unusual question and a kind question, but it is a personal quest and it is in that sense an unavoidable question not only by atom to whom it is addressed, but each of us as individuals because the Bible speaks to us asking the same question. Where are you if you do your homework and read this chapter invited you read chapters 1, two and three. You may see yourself in Adam's evasive response.

We've been there.

Why doesn't God do something is his problem. He did this he made this email is this thing unprepared to face the responsibility that comes with our God-given freedom.

What Adam and Eve did the did knowingly.

They did willfully did really, they were not programmed to do it anymore than you've been programmed to do one single thing you ever did. When it comes to turning your back on God and denying his exist is a very personal quest. You may even hear your own voice and Adam's excuses as attempts to shift the blame. You may actually come to recognize that your thinking is crooked. The way that Adams thinking was crooked and I said this to the University students are not sure they liked it because the relief they're all down there with size 12 brains is down in the context where human reason and intellectual capacity forms the basis of unbounded confidence in their they said and I said to the do you realize that your intellect is not a Citadel that is unaffected by sin.

Do you realize that you can't think properly while I ran away early so I could come here. I don't know what the made but you see items not thinking properly is a is rebellion is effective is thinking no sensible person would assume that they can hide from God behind a tree. How silly is that where are you, or even know you don't see me over here, I'm here Tommy crazy had you think you can hide from me behind the tree, but think about it you think you can hide from God. Many of you don't you you don't think he sees you there in the corner office, you don't think he sees you and your girlfriend's apartment you don't think he sees you in those places, but he sees you and the ultimate seeing that he does is not the significance of your geographical or physical locality, but is this seeing into your soul and where you are in relationship to the pursuing love of God saw the thinking of men and women is skewed. It is warped. Why is it that so many phenomenally intelligent people flat out resist the Bible. Why is it that you would find ourselves agony to people not understand or get the, because sin has affected the way in which they think we tend to think that somehow or another. Our ability to rationalize think our ability to think things out takes place. If you like. In some island that is unaffected by the moral impact of sin and it isn't the case. So we have to ask God to forgive us our sins because the sinful mind is hostile to God's over this. We finish the question.

Where are is a question which makes clear to the reader the fact that God is a God who chooses to reveal himself not hide himself and makes clear to the reader that God is a God who is very interested in establishing a relationship with those whom he has made, even though those whom he has made have turned defiantly against him. Have you ever experienced unrequited love. Have you ever written letters or call someone extending your love to them, expressing your devotion for the I listened as a young girl talk to a friend on the phone actually one of our nieces during the summertime. She got involved in this big conversation because her friend was on the receiving end of these great affirmations of devotion one of our friends at University young man had called up and put his life on the line and said you know I love you with a passion I want to spend the rest of my life with you and she called our knees to say how do I tell them to get lost. My heart went out to my never met him.

I thought all can you imagine what I must rely to be on the research waited to hear that phone call coming by. I know you're a very nice boy, but I never want to see you again. You may never even mention her name.

He may turn his back on her forever.

He may spit on the ground every time he remembers her unrequited love you like me like you because it's not like it's he is seeking God's saving God revealing God our relationship creating God. God who speaks down the corridors of time to you and me tonight with an unusual kind personal quest where are you none of us can hide from God. He won't hide from us listing the Truth for Life weekend. Alister Bragg at some point in our lives.

Most of us have made excuses for our behavior. We blame shifted like Adam did not want to make us grateful that Adams God the loving relationship seeking God who pursued him is also our God, the Bible is full of stories about people whose experiences with God may resonate with your own experience. Today we want to recommend to your book titled saints and scoundrels in the story of Jesus in this book, author Nancy Guthrie helps us see how the experiences of various people who knew Jesus people like Barabbas or Stephen or Zacchaeus.

Even Judas ultimately reveal Christ mercy and love. You can find out more about the book, sinks and scoundrels. When you visit our website at Truth for Life.orc we teach the Bible every day here at Truth for Life affect our singular mission is to open Scripture daily to help all who listen gain a better understanding of what God's word says and how it relates to daily life. That's why we make all of Alister's teaching free for downloading and for sharing.

If you'd like to relisten to a message or listen to any part of Alister's entire teaching library. You can do that for there are thousands of messages available impact you can sort them by topic by Scripture or by date today. You can also download a free copy of the audiobook grave by faith is a book written by Alister and in this audiobook. He compares Daniels experience living in the pagan culture of ancient Babylon to the challenges we face today living in a society that increasingly rejects God in his word. What does Daniel's story teach us about holding firm to our faith, the most brave by faith in the pre-companion study by faith about looking. There are people who accuse God of being a cosmic killjoy sets of rules to spoil our fun. Next weekend will hear what happened to one woman who believe this lie. The Bible teaching of Alister Bragg is furnished by Truth for Life where the Learning is for Living

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