This is the first question in the Bible. It was addressed to Adam by Yahweh. When it comes to the law of “first mention” we have a lot to learn about the character of God, and of mankind, from this question.
Adam and Eve had just sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When God appears in the Garden He asks this simple question, 'where are you?'
Now, God knew where they were. He knew that they were hiding trying to cover their nakedness which was a result from their sin, so why would He bother to ask Adam this question?
Let me break it down like this. God knows when you are not in your right place but He wants you to tell him why you have strayed, why you are not where you should be. Adam and Eve were not in their right place, and they had already discovered this, but God wanted them to admit to Him that they knew they were not where they were suppose to be.
You see, this question is followed up by the second question, “who told you'? (that you were naked).
God wanted them to let Him know, by their own admission, how they had come to the conclusion that they were naked. How had they acquired this information because it had not come from Him. He had never told them that they were naked. God wanted them to understand that they had listened to the wrong voice. He wanted them to repent. They had listened to the wrong person, the wrong voice. Now they had been deceived. If they had been in the right place, where they should have been, then they would not have been deceived.
What I am trying to say is this:
these questions reveal to us one of the characteristics of Yahweh and
One of the characteristics of mankind.
When man is enticed to sin and begins to listen to “another” voice, then he is carried away to a place outside of God's will for Him as Yahweh's created being. Man was created to hear the voice of their Creator. We are drawn away when we allow ourselves to listen to the voice of the enemy. When we keep listening to Satan, instead of the Creator, then Satan will drive us to a place of nakedness. A place where we can no longer feel God's presence.
Sometimes we are driven to these “naked places” even when we have not committed a willful transgression of Yahweh's Word, instead, because we have fed our doubts, fears, or because we have allowed Satan to gradually steal from us our peace and joy, we wake up one day and find that we are hiding from God. We feel ashamed to stand in His presence. We feel as Adam and Eve did, naked.
Sometimes we may arrive in this place because we have neglected our time alone with God in fasting, prayer, and the reading and studying of His Word. However we arrive in this “naked” state, we find ourselves there and it is not a “right place”, it is not where we should be.
This is a common characteristic of man. For those who listen to God's voice and strife to please Him, they will find that they do not like this state of nakedness. They will realize that if they had remained diligent that they would not have allowed Satan to lull them to sleep spiritually or to have seduced them into sinning or to have stolen their peace and joy. When we find ourselves in any of these situations then we have ended up in a place of nakedness, a place that we do not belong, a place where we should not have allowed Satan to take us. We let our guard down.
“Where Are You?” This is a revelation of the character of God. He will not leave His children alone in their nakedness. This question is like His asking, “why are you hiding from Me?” How came you to not be in your place? Admit to Me that you are not where you know you should be. He desires for you to realize how you came to be in that place. “WHO TOLD YOU these lies about yourself? Who told you that you are not good enough? Who told you that I did not love you, that I did not care, that I did not want the best for you? Who told you that I wouldn't take care of you, that I don't answer prayers, that I hid my face from you?” He says to us, “I never told you those things, like Adam and Eve, you listened to the wrong voice, and obedience to that voice has made you naked and ashamed to stand before Me.”
Oh, what love the Father has bestowed upon us that He will not leave us to the whims of Satan!
When we find ourselves in these situations it is time to re-calibrate, a time to re-focus and start again. Listen for that “still, small, voice” that is gently calling you back to your rightful place in Him. A place where He walks the path alongside of you and gently speaks to you in the cool of the day. What a pleasant thought!
Have you wondered away from where you should be, from your rightful place? Have you listened to the wrong voice? Listen carefully to God as He calls out, “where are you?, who told you ...?”