Stop Hiding, God is Not Ashamed of You
2/19/2017 Sunday AM, Shiloh in Kalona, IA
Craig Haworth, 50:10
Have you ever been told that God cannot look upon you because of your sin? Does it strike you as odd that our loving Father who created humankind and called it very good could be so repulsed by His creation that He could not bear to be around them? This understanding of salvation tends to paint God as harsh and angry. I believe this misconception requires that we take a moment and look at things from God’s perspective.
Genesis 2 tells the story of man and woman and their life with God in the garden. In their created state, though immature and unaware, they felt no shame and had no reason to hide from God or one another. They also felt no need to be like God because they knew He was in their lives to guide them and mature them. Into this picture, a very specific misconception was introduced by the serpent. Not a direct lie, but a misstating of a truth that painted God in a bad light and exposed Adam and Eve to their own immaturity before they were ready.
Certainly, there are many ways to understand the fall of humankind, but can we stop for a moment and realize that these two children were suddenly and negatively exposed to their immaturity and told that God did not carry their needs in His heart? Their reaction was like that of any child who has been exposed to their own immaturity without love. They began to lie, blame, and hide from God and one another. This became the new state of their relationships.
The relationship that was once their freedom and joy, became painful and exposing to the extent that God needed to distance them from His holiness as He continued to work out their redemption, which He did until the fullness of time came and God Himself entered the world in the humanity of Jesus Christ (Gal 4:4). The incarnation of Christ must be understood in these personal terms.
When God entered the world, He saw Himself through our eyes. He experienced in Christ our overwhelming desire to hide, blame, and run from Him. He encountered in His own person our fear of Him as the angry punisher. If Christ was tempted in every way as we are (Heb. 4:15), then part of that temptation was to experience our misconception of God as Father. However, Christ knew no sin. He did not buy into humanity’s misconception of God, but instead ever lives to reveal God to us (John 1:14-18) and to present us to God (John 14:3).
This is now the state of our relationship with God. We are known by Him (1 Cor. 13:12) and as He brings us to know Himself we have no reason to hide or to be ashamed (1 Jn. 2:28). His love bears and covers all things (1 Cor. 13:7) and draws us to know ourselves as His beloved children (1 Jn. 3:2). In Christ, all are called to live open, exposing to the Lord all that is taking place within us (Heb. 4:13), while His loving discipline matures us to share in His holiness (Heb. 12:10). Let us come out of hiding and come confidently to the throne of grace to find help in our time of need (Heb. 4:16).
Scriptures: Gen 2:7-25, 3:1,7-11; Exo. 33:19, 34:6-7; John 1:14-18; Cor. 3:12; Heb. 4:12-16