Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
In one chapter of Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis explains why we have good reason to feel uneasy about God. If God’s nature is one of absolute goodness, He must hate what we do. God is both our only comfort and our supreme terror. God is the thing we most need and the thing we most want to hide from.
Adam and Eve’s behavior following their disobedience in the garden is proof that Lewis is right. Sin alienated them from God by bringing guilt upon them and made them uncomfortable in His presence. Instead of turning to God for help, they fled from Him. Sin always has this effect (cf. Rev. 6:16). God, however, responded to their sin with grace. The question of verse 9 was not for the Lord’s benefit but for Adam’s. It was intended to draw him out of hiding. In the same way, the questions of verses 11 and 13 do not mean that God was unaware of what had taken place. They were asked in order to elicit a confession from Adam and Eve.
Adam and Eve’s answers to the Lord’s questions reveal the fear and extreme self-centeredness that sin produces within us. Adam seems to have been more concerned initially about his nakedness than his disobedience. When directly confronted about his sin, Adam shifted the blame to Eve (and by way of implication ultimately to God). Likewise, Eve pointed the finger at the serpent.
This is the problem sin creates. It causes us to turn away from God and sets us against one another. The selfishness of sin is ultimately selfdestructive. God made the first move in order to draw Adam and Eve to a place of repentance. By confronting them about their sin, He opened the way to grace and forgiveness.
Apply the Word
How would you answer the two questions posed in today’s passage? Have you been avoiding God because of the guilt you feel over sin? Admit what you have done and turn to Christ. He will not reject you: “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).