The Rhetorical Question

Focus Scripture: Genesis 3:1 – 24

I was told a couple of years ago that I like big words; my pastor told me that. I really could not argue, but I like to have the right word for the right instance. Forgive me if you find that occasionally, not only do I use a big word, but then I go on to explain it. Our phrase of the day today is: rhetorical question. This is a question that really does not expect a response, making a statement rather than an inquiry.

A lot of material has been written and preached on the third chapter of Genesis … the chapter that covers temptation, the fall of man, the exposure of sin, the casting of man out of Paradise. That being said, I do not believe I have encountered much – if anything – on “the question”: “Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?”” God is omnipotent (all powerful), omnipresent (always there/present) and omniscient (all knowing/discerning). God didn’t ask for informational purposes.

From that one question we receive mankind’s first example of “passing the buck.” No body takes responsibility for the sin of choosing anything over a relationship with God. One example of this these days is after EVERY election you will see bumper stickers that state, “It’s not my fault, I voted for __________ _______________” When it comes to sin, all of us have sinned (the apostle Paul makes this abundantly clear in his letter to the church in Rome) – as a species, we are collectively guilty. Yet, no man – except one – has ever truly taken responsibility for our guilt. But now I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Indeed, here we are only three chapters into the Bible, the Pentateuch, the Book of Genesis and we find out that man is not perfect. We have issues folks, seriously – we even like to gloss over what we need to ask God to forgive. Here’s the “thing”: gloss will make your pottery or your furniture look great; there is nothing that will make our sins look great. Why is that? Because every sin is a rejection of a relationship with God. That is why Adam and Eve were cast out, they chose food over a relationship with God.

So, let’s just leap ahead a few thousand years. It’s Sunday morning, you’re in church and communion is being served. “Where are you?” When you take the elements, is it just food? Is it the body and blood of Jesus Christ? Is it God reaching out to restore a relationship with you? What made Paradise a paradise? Was it the place? The food? … or was it the company of a Creator/Savior?

In Christ’s Name –
Amen.

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