Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't Hide from the Lord; Instead, Hide in Him!

Reading:

1) Heidelberg Catechism

19 Q. How do you come to know this?

A. The holy gospel tells me. God himself began to reveal the gospel already in Paradise; later, he proclaimed it by the holy patriarchs and prophets, and portrayed it by the sacrifices and other ceremonies of the law; finally, he fulfilled it through his own dear Son.

2) Scripture

Genesis 3:9-10, 15: But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”

15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

Comment:

Some people think that the gospel was not known in the Old Testament, but this is not true. Already in the garden of Eden/paradise, God began to reveal the gospel to Adam and Eve, who had rebelled against his word.

The gospel in the Old Testament was not as clear as it is now that Jesus Christ has come. The gospel in the Old Testament was pointing to Christ and promising Christ. But now that Christ has actually come and fulfilled all of the promises, it is much easier to understand the gospel message. But many Old Testament believers put their faith in God’s gospel promise and found salvation.

In the Scripture text for today, first, the Lord comes to the sinful couple with the law. The law reveals the condition of human beings before God. When the Lord says to them, “Where are you?” --- this reveals the purpose of the law --- to show us where we are at in our relation to God.

Because of sin and guilt, the human race is running away from God. People are hiding from the Lord because of their sin and shame. It is man’s rebellion against the Lord which constitutes the true cause of man’s problems.

The law of God reveals the human condition, but the gospel reveals it is safe to come out of our hiding places to return to God. In Genesis 3:15 the Lord points to the ultimate reason it is safe for us to come out of hiding: the woman’s offspring will bruise the head of the serpent, even as his heel is bruised. This prophecy was fulfilled when our Lord Jesus went to the cross, and won a great victory over the devil. At the cross he dealt a crushing blow to Satan. He bruised the serpent’s head, even as Christ’s own heel was bruised at the cross.

Jesus Christ came to die in our place. He took the punishment we deserved. The One who will judge us, has taken our judgment! What confidence we can have before God, if his own Son has died in our place to take away our sins! Instead of hiding from God, we can now hide in God’s Son, who died as our sin-bearer. Proverbs 28:13 says:

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.


Discussion: Was the gospel known in the garden of Eden or paradise? Do sinful people seek
God or run away from God? Why is it safe to come to God if we repent and believe in his Son?

Prayer Starter: Thank the Lord for seeking and saving the lost (you), who hide from God because of their sin. Pray for an unbeliever you know, and ask Christ to seek and save him or her.

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