As I have been reading though the first few chapters of Genesis recently, I have found God’s interaction with fallen humanity to be very interesting. Let’s first look at God’s interactions with humanity before the fall:
In Genesis 1:29-30, God has his first words with Adam, explaining food for him and all of the other creatures on the earth. In 2:15-17, God puts Adam in the garden of Eden to cultivate it, and commands him not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. There certainly may have been other interactions that were not written in Genesis, but up until this point, God has been in a role of authority and command, giving direct role and direction.
Then comes the fall, as Adam and Eve both partake in eating of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. With the brief enjoyment of the fruit, and with the sweet juice still on their lips, came a responsibility and a knowledge that would be absolutely crushing and unbearable for every human that would ever walk on the earth. Shortly thereafter, God comes walking in the garden, and there is a shift in how God interacts with them. Instead of issuing instruction, he asks them a series of four questions in 3:9-13: “Where are you?”, “Who told you that you were naked?”, “Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”, “What is this you have done?”. God certainly isn’t asking these questions because he does not know the answers.
Again we see this in God’s interaction with Cain after God does not regard his offering in 4:3-7. Cain’s jealousy in the situation made him angry. Even though God knew Cain’s heart and thoughts, he approached him with questions: “Why are you angry?”, “And why has our countenance fallen?”.
God is not approaching them with a pointed finger and a stern look. He is reaching into their hearts to allow them to think about the situation for themselves. He is demonstrating his mercy, his patience, and his love for us even though we have sinned against him. I think this is helpful in understanding God’s heart for humanity even after the entrance of sin. I also think it is helpful in thinking about being a father of sinful children, and how to approach them in their disobedience.
What are your thoughts on this? I would love to hear anything you’d like to add to these thoughts.