Study 1 WHERE ARE YOU?
GREAT QUESTIONS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT
by Francis Dixon
(Scripture Portion: Genesis 3:8-9)
This personal and pointed question is the first one recorded that God ever asked of man, and it is the first question He puts to individual men and women today. It simply means, ‘How do you stand before God and in the light of eternity? What is your spiritual condition?’ The circumstances are clearly outlined in Genesis 3:1-19, and the fact that it is God Himself who asks the question makes it vitally important that we face up to it, and answer it honestly.
1. The God who created and who sustains you asks, “Where are you?”
We believe He created our first parents (Genesis 1:26-27; Genesis 2:7). When we turn to the New Testament we find very clear statements about the creation in John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17. These verses tell us how man was created; and the same God who created us is the One who sustains us, cares for us, watches over us and supplies our needs, and He asks, “Where are you?”
2. The God against whom you have sinned asks, “Where are you?”
We read in Genesis 2:15-17 of the way in which sin entered the world, but we must be careful to see that through the sin of our first parents the whole human race has been involved. We have been involved – look up and compare Romans 3:20; 5:12; 6:23 – and compare also Isaiah 53:6; Ezekiel 18:4. It is therefore the God against whom we have sinned who asks us, “Where are you?”
3. The God from whom you are hiding asks, “Where are you?”
Genesis 3:7-10 tells us of the efforts that Adam and Eve made to hide from God. Of course, no-one can hide from Him (Psalm 139:1-12; Proverbs 15:3; Jeremiah 23:24). All over the world people are trying to hide from God – to hide behind excuses for not loving Him and for not serving Him; they are behind some tree, but no tree, no excuse, nothing, can hide us from the all-seeing eye of God (Hebrews 4:13).
4.The God to whom you must give account asks, “Where are you?”
Look up Hebrews 9:27 and consider what a clear statement this is. Compare also Revelation 20:11-13. This is the God with whom we have to do, and “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Hebrews 10:31).
5. The God who loves and seeks you asks, “Where are you?”
Look at Genesis 3:9 and listen for the tenderness, the compassion and the concern in this question that God asks of His children. In this three-word question there is a three-fold proof of God’s love. First, He proves His love to us in that He dealt with Adam’s sin – He did not overlook it or condone it. How could He? Again, His love is proved in that He at once promised to send a Saviour; that promise is contained in Genesis 3:15 (KJV) where we read of the seed of the woman, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Redeemer – look up Galatians 4:4-6. God also proved His love by asking this question in the immediate provision that He made for the nakedness of His children – Genesis 3:21 tells us about this.
Well, where are you? Let’s suggest five ways to help us answer God’s question:
1. “Where are you?” – are you “in Adam” or “in Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:22)?
There are only two creations – the old and the new. Adam is the head of the old creation, but the Lord Jesus is the head of the new creation. All who belong to the old adamic creation are spiritually dead and doomed. When Jesus came it was to live the life that we have failed to live, to die the death that we deserved to die, and to rise again as the head of a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). “Where are you?” – “in Adam” or “in Christ?”
2. “Where are you?” – are you saved or lost?
This is scriptural language. There are only two classes of people. This has always been the case, and however respectable, refined or educated we may be it is still true that we are either saved or lost – look up and compare Luke 15:4,24; 19:10; 2 Corinthians 4:3; Mark 16:16; John 10:9; Acts 15:11; 16:30-31; Romans 5:9; 10:9-10; Ephesians 2:8. “Where are you?” – you are either saved or lost, because there is no in-between position – but thank God you can be saved.
3. “Where are you?” – are you for Christ or against Him?
There is no neutral ground, as Jesus made perfectly clear (Matthew 12:30). We are either on the side of Christ or on the side of His enemies. Which is true of you? It is dreadful to be consciously and deliberately lined up with the enemies of Christ. If that is true of you, are you content to let it remain true?
4. “Where are you?” – are you dressed in fig leaves or garments of skin?
We have already referred to Genesis 3:21, but look at this great verse again and compare it with Genesis 3:7. The fig leaves which Adam and Eve sewed together speak of our own righteousness which is never acceptable before God (Isaiah 64:6). These aprons that they made speak to us of man’s effort to gain acceptance before God – compare Romans 10:3; but the garments of skin tell us that an animal had been killed, the blood had been shed, and God Himself had made provision for His children to be ‘clothed’ – look up and compare Isaiah 61:10. So the question must be asked – are you dressed in fig leaves, trusting in your own merit for acceptance before God, or are you dressed in garments of skin, which speak of God’s gracious provision and righteousness provided in the gift of His Son? “Where are you?”
5. “Where are you?” – are you bound for heaven or hell?
There are only two destinies. Jesus Himself said so. It is illogical for us to speak glowingly about heaven and to turn away from all the solemn warnings in scripture about the danger and certainty of hell for the unbeliever. If you were to die tonight where would you go – to heaven or hell?