I am a former atheist who discovered Jesus in June of 2000. Now I am a chaplain and a licensed UPC minister who loves the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. . . I once was blind, but now I see. . . never say never.
And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. (8) And they heard the voice 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 amongst the trees of the garden. (9) And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?
What a very interesting passage this is. Adam and Eve existed in a world of perfection. All that they required, they had before them, and yet that wasn't enough. They desired more. They disobeyed God and tried to hide themselves from Him. . . and God asks, "Where art thou?". . .
When God speaks, we think with our flesh. We consider what He says in terms of the physical. Examples abound:
Then Jesus said unto them, Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees. (7) And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have taken no bread.
Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. (20) Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. (11) The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?
The disciples confused Jesus talking about leaven, with Him speaking of yeast and physical bread. The Jews thought Jesus was talking about somehow being a one man wrecking crew and physically tearing down the temple. Lastly, the Samaritan lady at the well was thinking buckets, ladles, and clay pots when Jesus talked about water. I know we could find numbers of other examples. When God speaks, put aside your thoughts of the physical and think spiritually.
God asks Adam, "Where art thou?" This question makes no sense for God to be asking in the physical. God knew where God was. God knew where Adam was. Adam knew where Adam was and from the hearing of His voice, Adam surely must have had a pretty good idea where God was.
When I was in the U.S. Army, we used direction finding to determine the location of transmitters of unknown radio signals. We would find a signal that we didn't know where it came from on a particular radio frequency and send out a request for a DF (direction finding) shot for that signal. In a few minutes we would get responses back from multiple sites, with the angle of where the requested signal came in strongest at the various locations around the world on the DF network. We would then manually plot on a world map, with grease pencils, the lines of the direction where the signal appeared strongest from several stations. With a strong signal (in a perfect example), the several stations would intersect at one point and we would know very precisely where the radio signal was transmitted from. Usually though there would be error and some uncertainty and you would, depending on the number of stations have a box or a triangle or some other shape. The DF shots wouldn't all intersect at one point. You could say is that the transmitter was somewhere inside of the resulting shape bounded by the differing DF shot lines. Today's GPS system works on the very same principle, but in reverse. Instead of trying to locate an unknown signal, the little computerized GPS unit locates you, by your relationship to several very precisely known positions of satellites in a geosynchronous, a stationary orbit, far above the earth.
Neither of these examples have anything to do with what God was asking Adam. When God asks "Where art thou?", there is no need to triangulate your position from several satellites. There is no Spiritual network of direction finding stations that we need to check with. We serve one God, therefore when God asks, "Where art thou?" He knows where He is. He knows where we are. What He is asking is, "Do you know where you are in relation to Him?" It is a very simple task to find God. You simply turn away from darkness and toward the light.
By God's asking of Adam, "Where art thou?", God was asking Adam to look and come to the realization that he was no longer facing God. Adam was facing in another direction. Adam was not facing the light. . .
". . .Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God. . ."
Adam was in the shadows. . . He was in the darkness. . . You never hide in the light. You seek shadows. Hiding is always best in the darkness. . . By His question, God was trying to bring Adam into this understanding. . . trying to get Adam to change his direction. . . trying to get Adam to repent. . .
Sadly it is never recorded that either Adam or Eve repented all the days of their lives. . .We can only wonder. . .God forgives. . . it is never written that the eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge was an unforgivable sin. . .Adam messed up, but immediately after God called to him. . .still God awaited his change of direction. . .
When we stumble, God calls. . . He implores. . . He weeps. . . "Where art thou?. . . Where art thou?. . .Where art thou. . ." He knows everything. He knows where we are. . .By His question, He tries to illuminate our path. He tries to get us to look and see just where we are heading? By His voice He calls us to quit our place in the shadows and turn again towards Him. . . By His voice He beckons us to return to the light. . .He waits. . . expectantly He waits. . .