Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day. Genesis 3:8
Many years ago, Joni Mitchell wrote a song called “Woodstock” in which she saw the human race trapped in a “bargain” with the devil. Urging her listeners to seek a simpler, more peaceful existence, she sang of a return to “the garden.” Mitchell spoke for a generation longing for purpose and meaning.
Mitchell’s poetical “garden” is Eden, of course. Eden was the paradise God created for us back in the beginning. In this garden, Adam and Eve met with God on a regular basis—until the day they made their bargain with the devil (see Genesis 3:6–7). That day was different. “Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden” (v. 8).
When God asked what they’d done, Adam and Eve engaged in a lot of blame-shifting. Despite their denial, God didn’t leave them there. He “made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them” (v. 21), a sacrifice that hinted at the death Jesus would endure to cover our sins.
God didn’t give us a way back to Eden. He gave us a way forward into restored relationship with Him. We can’t return to the garden. But we can return to the God of the garden.
What stands between you and God today? What might you confess to Him in order to walk in “the cool of the day” with Him?
Father, help me not to blame others for my own faults and failures. Thank You that honesty with You means relationship with You.
The book of Genesis uses the expression “walked with God” or “walked faithfully with God” to describe a life of loving fellowship and harmony with Him. Genesis 3 depicts that harmonious relationship with God being disrupted by the first human couple’s decision to mistrust and disobey Him. Instead of walking with God in the garden, they hid (v. 8). However, He graciously continued to pursue relationships where human beings walked with Him in trust and faithfulness. Even after the fall into sin, others are described as walking with God, such as Enoch (5:22), Noah (6:9), and Abraham (17:1).
In the New Testament, through Jesus’ death and resurrection believers are given new hope and power to enable a life of walking faithfully with God through the gift of Christ’s Spirit (Galatians 5:16; Ephesians 2:10).