I’d like to begin this post with two questions.
The first – “Are you hiding in the bushes?”
The second – “Who’s in the bushes with you?”
Not long after God created Adam and Eve, not long after He blessed them and told them to be fruitful and multiply, and shortly after telling them they had dominion over every bird in the sky, fish in the sea, and creepy-crawly thing on the ground, a certain serpent invaded their territory with a question.
“Did God actually say…?”
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1 ESV)
Notice the “serpent was more crafty…”, meaning he was cunning, conniving, and should never be trusted. We know that now, but Adam and Eve weren’t aware the serpent’s master was Lucifer, the adversary of God.
We know the devil can’t be trusted, but sometimes we act like Adam and Eve. We listen to his faith weakening, flesh enticing questions and suggestions.
And sometimes we end up in the bushes, just like Adam and Eve.
Many feel as though the serpent was crafty because he was able to manipulate the First Couple into disobeying their Creator. Yes, I’d have to agree; that was pretty cagey.
But here’s what really amazes me.
When they realized they were naked, and heard the sound of God walking through the garden, they listened to the serpent once again and jumped into the bushes.
Hiding from God with His adversary.
Hiding in the bushes with the devil.
You may think I’m reading more into the passage than I should. I don’t think so, and here’s why.
I know the devil was standing (slouching) with them because of something Eve said. She told God, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” When she said that, I can picture her pointing to the serpent next to her.
God didn’t leave the pair to go snake hunting. He said to the serpent right then and there, “You’ve had it!” And, eventually, the devil realized he had bitten off more than he could chew.
You are probably wondering why I think it’s such a big deal, hiding with the adversary and all. So, I’ll try and explain what I mean.
It’s one thing to disobey God. Outside of Jesus, there’s not one of us since Adam and Eve who haven’t disobeyed Him at some point in our life. At least once (hah!)
Disobedience is a terrible thing, and affects so many. But there’s something even worse than sin.
What!? Something worse than sin?
Yes. Much worse, as far as I’m concerned.
What could be worse?
Hiding in the bushes from the only One Who can forgive and turn things around. Hiding in the bushes with the one whose whole agenda is to steal, kill, and destroy. As long as Adam and Eve stayed in the bushes, they were vulnerable to everything around them. They were naked, and they knew it.
They were now subject to fear, torment, and of course, the shame of disobedience. And the longer they hid, the longer the devil controlled them.
Are YOU hiding in the bushes? Have you, sometime in the past, either ignored or rejected the commands of God and, instead, swallowed the tempting bait the devil tossed at you?
Don’t you think it’s time to come out of hiding? God hasn’t quit calling your name. He knows where you’re at, but you have to take the first step toward Him and declare, “Here I am.”
Those three little words are enough to turn the forces of evil from you, as God draws you to His side and clothes you in His righteousness.
“Here I am, Lord. I step away from the bushes, away from my excuses, away from my habits, and into Your light and love.”
Sure, God will say, “What happened?” But He already knows. He’s asking you for YOUR benefit.
“Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13 ESV)
Yes, I believe it’s time, past time, to come out of hiding and into the light of His glorious love.
“He is faithful and just to forgive you of all sin, and cleanse you from all unrighteousness…”
What do think?