The Sound Which Adam Heard

adam-eve-garden-of-eden imageSounds of snapping twigs and the crackling of dried leaves come to mind when we read how afraid Adam and Eve were when they “heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8). As a parent, I will often imagine Adam and Eve running and hiding when they hear God, their Father, coming just knowing that they were up to no good… the guilty tend to hide in shame. Have you ever stopped to consider exactly what they heard on that fateful day?  Our english translations never seem to do justice to the original languages. Let’s consider the “sound” of the Lord’s coming through out salvation history,,, maybe it will shed some light on what it may have sounded like for Adam and Eve when God came calling on the day they brought death into creation.

Genesis 3:

[8] And 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.

[9] But the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”

[10] And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

The Hebrew word for “sound” used in verse 8 is קול (qowl ), and it has a wide range of meaning, among which we find voice, sound, noise, proclamation and even music.  At first glance it would seem quite harmless… the Lord God was simply going for a stroll in the garden sanctuary, minding His own business, paying a visit with the man and woman, whose marriage he had just witnessed, when, quite peculiarly they seemed to be missing. Huh… He must have thought,,, I wonder where they went?   As if the all knowing, all powerful creator of the universe is thrown for a loop by Adam and Eve. Instead, just maybe there was something else going on here. Notice vese 10,,, it would seem that the “sound” of God’s approach caused some increased fear and tension for Adam. Yes, it could have simply been that Adam knew he was guilty of disobedience, and his new found shame, and nakedness, was daunting his conscience and at the least bit of sound of the Lord’s coming, he dashed into the bushes to hid himself. What if that sound were more than snapping twigs and crackling leaves? What if the mere sound of the Lord’s approach was enough to put absolute dread on the hearts of all those who have sinned and fallen from grace?

Do you remember the scene in Star Wars (the original) when, after the Storm Troopers, dominated the rebels onboard a starship, and the evil Darth Vader emerged from the smoke to capture the helpless Princess Lea? I’ll bet you can hear the sound of his coming right now… just reading this, you can remember it can’t you? The theme music that accompanied Darth Veder was enough to strike the fear in the heart of the viewer… da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da… that was the point, wasn’t it? Foreboding, ominous… filled with anxiety.  Have you ever seen Saving Private Ryan? Do you recall the scene, towards the end of the movie, where they were just waiting for the Germans to attack,,, trying to defend a bridge with just a few men? They anxiously waited for what they knew was coming, the erie silence was shattered by the  menacing mechanical sounds of the tanks bearing down on their position, shaking the very ground and rattling their teeth.  The tension builds, and my heart began to race, just thinking about how these tanks will bring death,,, will they all be killed? Imagine the fear that those men would have felt, well before the tanks were visible, it would have been thick enough to cut with a butter knife. The sound of the approaching tanks, made the fear palpable… it made it real, it took it over the top!

So, what if the Lord’s coming into the garden was more like that of Darth Verder’s  theme music and Private Ryan’s tanks?  How much worse it would have been for our first parents on an already bad day,,, to hear such a sound? Let’s consider Psalm 29 and see if it can shed some light on this question.

Psalm 29:

[3] The voice of the LORD is upon the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the LORD, upon many waters.

[4] The voice of the LORD is powerful,

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

[5] The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars,

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

[6] He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,

and Si’rion like a young wild ox.

[7] The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.

[8] The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness,the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

[9] The voice of the LORD makes the oaks to whirl,

and strips the forests bare;

and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

[10] The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;the LORD sits enthroned as king for ever.

 

So yes,,, there is snapping of twigs and crackling of leaves,,, only they are they are the mighty cedars of Lebanon breaking and the whirling oaks stripped bear by the sound of His voice! Its the same Hebrew word,  קול (qowl ), being used in this Psalm (vs. 3,4,5,7,8 &9) to depict God’s voice just as in Genesis 3 for the sound of the Lord’s coming. Not nearly as harmless sounding is it? Notice verse 3 referencing the Lord’s voice as being “over the waters”… does this remind you of anything? Yes, the day Jesus was baptized in the wilderness in Matthew 3:16 & 17, the voice of God was heard over the waters of the new creation,,, “[17] and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” If this is the new creation then what of the old? Was the voice of God heard over those waters as well? Yes, take a look at Genesis 1:1 -4 where we read how the Spirit of God hovered over the waters of creation, “[3] And God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.” Is this a mere coincidence? All the elements of water, the Spirit of God, the voice of God proclaiming the coming forth of light into the world? I think not… how profound… from the waters of baptism, the Spirit of God hovered over our Lord, as the sound of God voice was proclaiming that this was His son… truly…. the LIGHT has come into the world to separate light from darkness. In fact, Jesus would go on to proclaim, “I am the light of the world.” in John 9:5.   Can you even imagine what that must have sounded like? Palm 29 certainly does not paint the picture of God casually strolling anywhere… rather instead when he comes… he comes with the full glory due the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

Let’s skip forward to another episode of the Lord’s coming to his people. This time it takes place in the wilderness. Ever since Adam was exiled from the garden man has worked and toiled in blood, sweat and tears, cut off, in the wilderness outside the paradise of God’s presence. It has been God’s plan, ever since Gen. 3:15, to rectify that very problem and bring them back into communion with Him! In Exodus 19, God has lead the people out of slavery in Egypt, into the wilderness by a pillar of smoke and fire.  When they finally reach the foot of the mountain of Saiani, God commands Moses to ready the people for the 3rd day… he will make a covenant with His First-Born son, Israel, and they must consecrate themselves, for they are to become a Kingdom of Priests in order to mediate between God and the Nations (same Hebrew word for Gentiles) and bring back all of God’s other sons to Him! The Lord had something special in mind just for them. In addition to sound, voice and others, the Hebrew word קול (qowl ) is also used for thunder, let’s take a look.

Exodus 19:

[16] On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people who were in the camp trembled.

[17] Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God; and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.

[18] And Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke, because the LORD descended upon it in fire; and the smoke of it went up like the smoke of a kiln, and the whole mountain quaked greatly.

[19] And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God answered him in thunder.

[20] And the LORD came down upon Mount Sinai, to the top of the mountain; and the LORD called Moses to the top of the mountain, and Moses went up.

 

Oh yeah… you should be thinking da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da… when the Lord arrived, everyone knew it, in fact, as verse 16 says, they trembled at the sound of the trumpet blasts.  Here again, the Hebrew word קול (qowl ), is used for “thunder” and “sound”  (verse 16) but, clearly, this is a big, noisy, ominous and forbidding sound. It is certainly not, the gentile snapping of twigs and leisurely  sounds of God’s afternoon stroll. Imagine the sounds of those trumpet blasts? To the guilty and shamed… the heavy feeling of pending judgment must of loomed large in their hearts. Remember the 7 trumpet blasts of judgment that tumbled the walls of Jericho (Joshua 6:1-27), or the 7 blasts in Revelation chapters 8 through 11? Yeah… not good!   In fact, the people of God were so afraid at the “sound” of His coming that they begged Moses to speak on their behalf… giving up their chance to meet God and speak to God, as Moses had already enjoyed.

Exodus 20:

[18] Now when all the people perceived the thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and the mountain smoking, the people were afraid and trembled; and they stood afar off,

[19] and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will hear; but let not God speak to us, lest we die.”

[20] And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to prove you, and that the fear of him may be before your eyes, that you may not sin.”

Although not described in nearly as dramatic a fashion as this encounter with God on Sinai, there are two other events in the Old Testament which also describe the coming of the Lord in the Shekinah glory cloud which are worth mentioning here.  After the completion of both the tabernacle in the wilderness, and the Temple in Jerusalem,  something miraculous occurred… the presence of God filled the Holy of Holies!

Exodus 40:

[34] Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

[35] And Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting, because the cloud abode upon it, and the glory of the LORD filled the tabernacle.

 

2 Chronicles 7:

[1] When Solomon had ended his prayer, fire came down from heaven and consumed the burnt offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the LORD filled the temple.

[2] And the priests could not enter the house of the LORD, because the glory of the LORD filled the LORD’s house.

[3] When all the children of Israel saw the fire come down and the glory of the LORD upon the temple, they bowed down with their faces to the earth on the pavement, and worshiped and gave thanks to the LORD, saying, “For he is good,for his steadfast love endures for ever.”

 

So when God comes to pay a visit… it is as a King with all the pomp and circumstance due to the creator of all the universe. Should it be any other way? Would we not roll out the red carpet and strike up the band for any president or head of state? How much more the God of all? Now, let’s look at a few incidents in the New Testament that seem to be related. Do you recall when Our Lord took Peter, James and John up the mountain and gave them a glimpse at the coming resurrection glory? Peter was on cloud 9, no pun intended, when, all of a sudden, the Shekinah Glory cloud over-took the mountain-top and enveloped them all. It was the sound of the voice of God that struck fear in their hearts, causing them to fall to the ground in awe.

Matthew 17:

[5] He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

[6] When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.

[7] But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.”

 

Just as God spoke in the Old Testament, and peels of thunder were heard, so to, in the New Testament, do we have an example of God speaking and people hearing thunder. Its rather interesting to note that all throughout the Gospel of John, Jesus is often saying, “my hour has not yet come” and yet here, in John 12, he says, “The hour has come for the Son of man to be glorified.(verse 23)”. What was the trigger? What brought on his “hour”? Gentiles! It was immediately following  a request by 2 Greeks to see Jesus that our Lord proclaims this His “hour” had come. Why? Because He was sent for this very purpose… to draw all men to Himself.  The moment has come and the voice of God is heard in peels of thunder and confirmation of this devine mystery… the mystery of salvation of all mankind in the cross of Christ.

John 12:

[27] “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? `Father, save me from this hour’? No, for this purpose I have come to this hour.

[28] Father, glorify thy name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

[29] The crowd standing by heard it and said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.”

[30] Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine.

[31] Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the ruler of this world be cast out;

[32] and I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”

 

Let’s not forget the recapitulation of the Sinai encounter played out in the book of Acts. After the 12 tribes of Israel turned their hearts back to the gods of Egypt, in the worshiping of the golden cafe in Exodus 32, God took the Priesthood away from the “First Born” and gave it to Aaron, his sons, and the tribe of Levi. The Levites took up swords and slaughtered the idolators, about 3000 were slain that day, in defense of God and the covenant. From that day on… the people of God would have to sacrifice the Egyptian god’s, bulls, goats, lambs and more, morning and evening, day after day, on the alter of Yahweh, the one true God. The people of God had fallen from grace, much like Adam had in God’s presence in the garden, and would now encounter one remedial “law” after another until they ended up with the many, many, curses found in the book of Deuteronomy.   God intended them to be a kingdom of priests, sent out to lead God’s other children, the Gentile nations, back to Him from pegan idol worship. Instead, even with all the penance He had given to them, Israel proved to be a stiff necked people and would struggle with disobedience, idol worship, and a hardness of heart for the Gentiles. If they would not go out into the world to be His “witness” to the nations, even to the ends of the earth, then God would have the “ends of the earth” come and take them away.  The 10 northern tribes would be carried off by Assyria in chunks from 740 BC to 722 BC, leaving the Judeans in the South to fend for themselves until they too, committing the sin of idol worship, would be carried off by the Babylonians in  587 BC.  It would seem all was lost… the promise that the scepter would not depart from Judea (Gen. 49:10), and the House of David would never end (2 Sam. 7:16), were nothing more than empty words from Yahweh, their God. Or was it? The Prophets foretold of the day when the Kingdom of God, under the Messiah, the son of David, would come and reestablish His Kingdom (c.f. Is. 9, Ez. 37:15 – 28). This new, and greater, Priest-King would, once again, gather in the lost tribes of the people of God, reconstituting the full 12 tribes of Israel, bring back the Priesthood of the “First Born” and make them, once again, a Kingdom of Priests, to be His “witnesses” to the ends of the earth. God would bring about another Siani moment with a new and greater Moses (Duet. 18:18 – 19) … a new and greater Aaron (c.f. Psalm 110:4, Heb.5:5 – 6), a new and Greater David (c.f. Amos 9: 11 -12, Psalm 89: 3 -4), and a new and greater Solomon (c.f. Psalm 110:1, Jer. 23:5 – 6; 33:15 -16).  Unlike all of them,,, Jesus would remain faithful and take upon himself all the curses which they merited in the breaking of their covenants… the curse of Adam’s thorns (Gen.3:17), shed the blood of  Noah (Gen.9:6), was cast out from Abraham’s circumcision (Gen. 17:14) and cut off from the people, nailed to Moses’ tree (Duet. 21:22-23), and took the strips of King David by the sons of men (2 Sam. 7:14).

Acts 1:

[6] So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”

[7] He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.

[8] But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Sama’ria and to the end of the earth.”

 

Acts 2:

[1] When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.

[2] And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

[3] And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them

 

Just as King David established his house in Jerusalem, from the tribe of Judea, among the nation of Israel, and rulled over the Kingdom from the Gentile nations paying him homage, to the ends of the earth…. so Jesus, the son of His father David (Luke 1:32), would send out His ministers, who sit in judgement over Israel on twelve thrones (Luke 22:30),   to be His “witnesses” from Jerusalem to all Judea, and Samaria (northern tribes), and even to the ends of the earth.  The question is…. what did it sound like? Remember the sounds of the first Sinai in Exodus 19? Look at verse 2 of Acts 2… “the sound came from Heaven like the rush of a mighty wind”, some translations even use “violent” and “roar” to describe this sound.  This should evoke Exodus 19 memories for the first century Jews gathered in Jerusalem at that very moment. In fact..  Acts goes on to tell us that it was this very sound that brought devout men from “every nation under heaven” to gather near the upper room.  What where they even doing in Jerusalem? They were there to celebrate the feast of Pentecost,,, a memorial feast of the giving of the law at Mt. Sinai. Yes… Im sure that is pure coincidence, surly it was not intended by our Lord,,, right?

Acts 2:

[5] Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven.

[6] And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

 

So, the tongues of fire come upon each of those gathered in the upper room, and St. Peter goes out to preach to these men from every nation, that this Jesus, whom they just crucified not long before, was the promised Messiah from the royal Davidic house himself.  It was a powerful moment for a man who had denied our Lord 3 times on the night he was betrayed, wouldn’t you say? What was the result? [Acts 2: 41] So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls.  I’m sure, thats’s simply another coincidence… no, nothing to see here, move along, move along!  So, the sound of God’s coming is described once again with language that seems to suggest a lot more than simply snapping of twigs and crackling of leaves. Its the “roar” of heaven come upon the Church to infuse Her with the Spirit that gives Her life and sends her out to be His “witnesses” to the Judeans, the lost tribes of Israel, the Gentile God-fearers, and even to the ends of the earth! Before,,, they cower behind locked doors, now, they boldly proclaim Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah in public and even to their deaths as martyrs (same Greek word for witnesses).

There is one more passage I would like to consider on the “sound” that Adam would have heard in the Garden, that would be the “sound” that our Lord heard when he too was in a Garden… that of the hoard, led by Judas, came out to arrest him. Picture it, our Lord leads the twelve out, in the darkness (thanks to Judas!) across the Kidron valley to the Garden of Gethsem’ane and begins to weep and become sorrowful, even unto death (Matth. 26:36 & 37). Three times our Lord cries out, [39] … “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt” (Matthew 26). In a garden the first Adam, tempted with how good the fruit was to eat, how beautiful it was to behold and the pride of becoming like God, stood silent by the tree of the knowledge (Gen. 3:6). Our lord, on the other hand, was not so silent when faced with the same tri-fold temptation, once in the wilderness (Matth. 4 – Bread for food, Kingdoms for glory, and public display of his divinity for pride), and here again in the Garden…  [7] In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard for his godly fear (Hebrews 5). Greater than the first Adam, who was cut off from God’s presence in the garden and cast into the wilderness…  [18] thorns and thistles it shall bring forth to you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. [19] In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground (Gen. 3), the “Last Adam”, would recapitulate the first in fulfilling the curses from a broken covenant…  [44] In his anguish he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down on the ground (Luke 22). Our Lord too would return to the ground but, not as dust like the Adam, rather so that he could give us the bread that would become the fruit from the tree of life that we must eat to be raised up on the last day (John6:54).  When the “First Adam” heard the sound of God, coming to find him, he coward and hid in a bush. When the “Last Adam” heard the sound of the “great crowd with swords and clubs” (Matth. 26), come to find him… did he run? Hide in a bush? NO! He went out to face them!  The “First Adam” placed the blame for his disobedience, and his fall from grace, upon the woman, and ultimately on God Himself (Gen. 3:12), so the “Last Adam” offers himself, making no excuses and seeking no easy way outs, without reservation, sparing His flock, and laying down His life…  [4] Then Jesus, knowing all that was to befall him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” [5] They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. [6] When he said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground (John 18).

But, what of the noise? In all four Gospels the crowd that came out to arrest our Lord is described as being big and noisy… soldiers, swords, clubs, lanters and torches… they were certainly not sneaking around the Garden hoping to come across this “would-be Messiah” like a hunter stalks his prey.  Judas was able to lead them right to the very spot where Jesus was praying, knowing where he would be on that night.  Our Lord, accepting the cup which the Father had given Him to drink, said calmly to Peter, James and John, [42] “Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand” (Mark 14)!  The sound of a large mob, wielding swords, clubs, and all the rest, must have felt foreboding and ominous for the disciples, cutting through the thick darkness, the clanking of swords, the flicker of torches, and low thumping of footsteps, becoming increasingly louder as the “great crowd” approached them. Surly they made quite the ruckus as they clamored up the path. Why were they coming here? They must have wondered… what could they possibly want? I imagine Peter uttering, as he reaches for his sword, ready to protect our Lord from capture and death.  I don’t know about you but… I would be thinking da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da-don-ta-da…… you can almost hear the heavy breathing of Judas, like that of Darth Vader, as he approaches Our Lord to identify him with a kiss. [49] And he came up to Jesus at once and said, “Hail, Master!” And he kissed him (Matth. 26).  [48] but Jesus said to him, “Judas, would you betray the Son of man with a kiss (Luke 22) ?” 

Matthew 26:

[47] While he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a great crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

Mark 14:

[43] And immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas came, one of the twelve, and with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders.

Luke 22

[47] While he was still speaking, there came a crowd, and the man called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He drew near to Jesus to kiss him;

John 18:

[3] So Judas, procuring a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.

 

 In every way that Adam was tested, so to our Lord was tested… both being in a Garden, only the “Last Adam” would prevail where the “First Adam” did not. [15] For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4). I would suggest that the “sound” which Adam and Eve heard, struck fear in their hearts because of their guilty conscience and the shame that overwhelmed them. When we separate ourselves from God, through personal sin, we hide ourselves from Him, fearing his judgement. Isn’t this why we avoid confession? Imagine if God were to come right now,,, in His Glory, with the blast of the trumpet and the cry of the Angels…. would we not cower in fear like the shepherds in the fields the day our Lord was born (Luke 2: 8 -18)? But is it judgment that God brought? Or perhaps His mercy?

Compare the parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15 with the account of God’s “judgement” in Genesis 3.  The prodigal son desired the ways of the world,,, the fine clothes, good food , the riches and easy life style. Its the trifold temptation,,, lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and pride!  In order to obtain this, he needed his share of his father’s inheritance, which meant his father might as well be dead… clearly the son had no appreciation for his fathers work, let a lone his love.  His father, not wanting to force his son to return his love, gave him what he desired, at great personal cost, and got out of his way. The son goes off and squanders his new found riches on gambling, fast times, and loose living. When nothing was left, and work became scarce, he found himself in a pit… tending to pigs, slowly rotting away.  The son began to regret his choices and realized that it would be far greater to live as his father’s slave than to continue on in such squaller.  Making his way back to his father’s property he rehearses his confession, preparing to throw himself on the mercy of his father and beg him to work as his slave. Little did he know that his father spent every day looking out, hoping his son would return to him. When the time came, and the father saw his son coming down the road, he runs to greet him! The son tries to spit out the lines he practiced over and over but, the father is having none of it… he falls upon his neck, commands his servants to bring robes, shoes, his ring, and to kill the fattened calf. The father does not judge the son rather he forgives the son and restores the sons dignity as a son of the father.  The father was eager to show his mercy where as the son expected only judgement. His inheritance was spent, so there would still be penance but, he was a son, and not a slave, in his fathers house once again. The one trouble that remained for the prodigal son was his older brother, he, unlike their father, was not so eager to forgive his brothers trespasses. In fact, in refusing to celebrate his brothers return, the father once again came out, this time to meet his oldest child, and show forth his mercy once again.

Luke 15:

[30] But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf!’

[31] And he said to him, `Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.

[32] It was fitting to make merry and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.'”

 

Hiding in the bush, clinching his ears, and praying his heart does not pound its way through whats left of his rib cage, I imagine Adam, and Eve for that matter, having similar thoughts as the prodigal son feeding the pigs in the pit when the sound of God was heard in the garden. There was no lower place on earth which they could descend than this. The Father, like the father of the prodigal, comes to meet them. Oh boy, here it comes! Whispers Adam to his bride, now we’re going to it! The Lord God calls out to them, “where are you?” (verse 9), but, being God, we can easily surmise that he was simply calling them out, like a good Father, coaxing their confession.

Genesis 3:

[10] And he said, “I heard the sound of thee in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”

[11] He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”

 

Notice, there is no immediate condemnation, no blotting them out and starting over, as the Lord will do with Noah’s generation (Gen. 8 & 9), and threaten to do with the Israelites and Moses (Ex. 32). Rather, the Father is questioning his children, drawing out their confessions with some tenderness. Notice what happens next, Adam responds first, [12] The man said, “The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.“; did you catch the blame game? Of the two sons in the parable of the prodigal, which does this remind you of? Yes, the eldest of course… remember his words to his father? [30] But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your living with harlots, you killed for him the fatted calf (Luke 15)!’ Adam, who just so happens to be older than Eve, seems to pass the buck onto Eve, and ultimately onto God for having created Eve and givimg her to him. Yeah Lord… that’s right… your to blame for all my troubles, if you hand’t given me the woman, I’d never be in this mess to begin with, barks Adam to God!  How does Eve respond?  [13] Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent beguiled me, and I ate. (Genesis 3)” Wow, what a difference, she doesn’t pass the blame, she takes responsibility for her actions and throws herself onto the mercy of the Father. Again… remind you of anyone? Namely the younger of the two sons in Luke 15?

So how does the Father respond to this crises? With a foreshadowing of the good things to come in the recapitulation of this very event. He hears their confessions (verses 9 -13), assigns them each a penance (verses 14 – 19), and then, just like the father in Luke 15, God the Father clothes their nakedness and restores their dignity as a son and daughter of the most high God!

Genesis 3:

[21] And the LORD God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins, and clothed them.

To be sure, there was a heavy penance given by the Father, but, it was not His judgment so much as His mercy that he imparted upon the human race that day. Man would not be the same again,,, living in a fallen state, privy to every temptation and sin, with out recourse to the medicine for such sickness, namely the sacraments. The (first) good news?… God the Father proclaimed that the new creation would come, and a NEW man would be born of the seed of the woman and would crush the head of the serpent (Gen. 3:15).  Man might be cut off from the garden in Genesis 3 but, the day would come when the sword would be put away (John 18:11), and the way to the tree of life opened once again, washed clean in the waters of creation, forgiven of our sins, that we might eat of the fruit of the grain of wheat and have life in abundance (John 10:10). The Father warned his children,,, “for in the day that you eat of it you shall die (Genesis 2)”, and sure enough they did die, spiritually anyway. They may be dead on this day but,,, [16] For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3).  So it truly is Gospel,,, the good news, that the Father proclaims over us in the waters of baptism It is fitting to make merry and be glad, for this you were dead, and now you are alive; you were lost, and  now you are found!  What “sound” did Adam and Eve hear that day? The sound of the glory of God coming to impart His mercy upon His children, setting into motion the coming redemption of man. How sweet the sound…

 

About the Author:

Joe McClane – The Catholic Hack! – is the director and events coordinator for Fullness of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries, as well as an a Catholic New Media producer & Evangelist. He is married to his lovely wife Michelle and they have five children. The Catholic Hack | Catholic Apologetics, Theology & More!

 

About the Author: CatholicHack

Joe McClane is the General Manger of KSHJ 1430 AM on the Guadalupe Radio Network, Catholic radio in Houston, TX. Joe spent the last five years serving as the Director and Events Coordinator for the Fullness Of Truth Catholic Evangelization Ministries based in North Houston. Joe has been married, going on thirteen years, to Michelle, and they homeschool their five children. Joe and his family are parishioners of Annunciation Catholic Church in downtown Houston.
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