And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden (Genesis 3:8).
The Bible tells of people hiding from God at the beginning (in Genesis) and at the end (in Revelation). In Genesis 3:8, Adam and Eve attempt to evade their Maker after listening to a lie and choosing to disobey Him. They hide from the presence of the Lord among the trees, fearing God’s wrath. In the same way, Revelation 6:16, 17 tells of men at the end of time hiding among rocks, fearing the wrath of the Lamb.
This hiding from God begins as distance in our relationship with Him. From Adam and Eve to current times, humans have taken steps away from their Maker. We do this through believing lies, allowing pride to inflate egos, and rationalizing attitudes and actions. We evade God through distractions on our cellphones and other media. Human relationships may gain a stronger foothold in our hearts than our love for God, crowding Him out. If we are just going through the motions, even church activities and the routines of our “spiritual” lives can interfere with a deeper relationship with God. We can keep our attention focused on everything except God. This ultimately leads to hiding from Him.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. We can expose ourselves to God intentionally or unintentionally. After Jesus’ arrest, Peter hoped to go unnoticed as he remained in the vicinity of Christ’s trial (Matthew 26:69-74). However, he stood out to a servant girl and other bystanders. No longer able to blend in, Peter refused to acknowledge his association with Jesus. He didn’t want to be pointed out as a Christ-follower.
Peter eventually was transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit and spoke boldly about his Savior. There was no doubt that from then on, he intentionally followed Christ.
Where Peter was unintentional about his exposure to God, we can be intentional. The more connected we are with God every part of the day, the more open and transparent our hearts will be toward Him.
The key is hiding in God, not from Him. David the psalmist did this. He spoke honestly with God about his enemies, his sins, his fears, his griefs. When our prayers are free and honest, as David’s were, without holding back questions, doubts, and negative emotions, we are transparent with God.
Therefore, we don’t need to hide from God in fear of judgment, as Adam and Eve did. And we won’t have to hide as people will at the end of time. We can have the confidence of David, in communion with God:
You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah (Psalm 32:7, cf. 119:114).