Foundational Themes in Genesis – Study 24

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Gen 3:8 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 [Hebrew: chaba] from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.
Gen 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou?

The words ‘hid themselves’ in verse 8 here come from the Hebrew word chaba, and it has to do with secrecy or to withdraw oneself in order to protect oneself. The word chaba comes from chabab which means to cherish or love fervently. This is when we get wrapped up by our own natural way of thinking, which of course will be shown as futility and inadequate which was outwardly manifested in the coverings Adam and Eve made for themselves (Gen 3:7). We know that God knew exactly where Adam and Eve were and what they had done. So the question “where art thou?” is written from the perspective of the natural mind of the first Adam when we cannot see that God knows and causes all things and He is not far from anyone at any stage (Eph 1:11, Psa 139:1-16):

Act 17:27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us:
Act 17:28 For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.

Jer 23:23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?
Jer 23:24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

From our natural point of view, we think we can actually hide from God as we cannot see that everything exists in Him. This question (where art thou?) reminds us of the question God asked Elijah when the prophet’s life was threatened:

1Ki 19:9 And he [Elijah] came thither unto a cave, and lodged there; and, behold, the word of the LORD came to him, and he said unto him, What doest thou here, Elijah?

After his powerful displays of God’s miracles, Elijah was frightened to death by the threat of Jezebel, the controlling wife of the weak king of Israel, Ahab:

1Ki 19:1 And Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and withal how he had slain all the prophets with the sword.
1Ki 19:2 Then Jezebel sent a messenger unto Elijah, saying, So let the gods do to me, and more also, if I make not thy life as the life of one of them by to morrow about this time.
1Ki 19:3 And when he [Elijah] saw that, he arose, and went for his life, and came to Beersheba, which belongeth to Judah, and left his servant there.
1Ki 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.

An angel found Elijah under a juniper tree and told him to arise, eat and journey on for forty days and nights to the mount of God, Horeb. There he hid again in a cave in the mountain. In Hebrew the word for ‘cave’ here is mearah which has the meaning of darkness connected to it. This word mearah comes from the Hebrew word uwr which means ‘naked’ or ‘to be exposed’. When we see our own naked and vulnerable state in flesh, we naturally go into hiding, as mankind has done since Adam. The very act of hiding actually reveals the dark and wicked carnal heart in the generation of the first Adam:

Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

Flesh is given to us as a veil where we hide and it does not like to be exposed to its deceitfulness. The revelation of Jesus starts with the unveiling of our first Adamic beast which is a humbling, yet a loving and redeeming work of God in essence. Flesh was never made to inherit God’s spiritual kingdom. It is corrupt from start to finish and needs controlling measures all the time because it is lawless from its creation (Jer 18:4, Rom 8:20, Rom 12:1, 2Th 2:3-10). The flesh of the first Adam has never, and will never, experience spiritual perfection, and we have to understand and respect this:

1Co 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

1Ti 1:9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

Flesh has a temporary and limited earthly rulership or cover and God empowers “the basest of men” of this world to rule for a specific period as we also keep it under control by His strength (Php 2:12-13, Mat 5:25, 39, Rom 13:1-7):

Dan 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

Our ‘cover’ under fleshly rulership is appointed by God. Moses was all too familiar with this theme of hiding. At his birth he was placed in hiding right under the nose of the pharaoh of Egypt who wanted to kill all Hebrew boys born at that time. Moses was eventually brought up in the very palace of the pharaoh (Heb 11:23-29). After he killed an Egyptian, Moses had to flee and hide in the land of Midian for forty years, to later return under the instruction of God to be the leader in the destruction of the rule of Egypt over the children of Israel:

Heb 11:23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months of his parents, because they saw he was a proper child; and they were not afraid of the king’s commandment.

King Saul, a spiritual type of these earthly rulers in us, showed he was also of the “basest of men” when he could not even face his calling to be king over Israel. He hid himself “among the stuff” although he was outwardly “higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward”:

1Sa 10:21 When he had caused the tribe of Benjamin to come near by their families, the family of Matri was taken, and Saul the son of Kish was taken: and when they sought him, he could not be found.
1Sa 10:22 Therefore they enquired of the LORD further, if the man should yet come thither. And the LORD answered, Behold, he hath hid himself [Hebrew: chaba] among the stuff [or vessels].
1Sa 10:23 And they ran and fetched him thence: and when he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward.

All our own high-mindedness and self-righteousness is a ‘secret place’, but will be revealed to us at the appointed times. When that process starts we naturally believe we can go and hide somewhere or be raptured away:

Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

No one will be raptured – that is a false teaching. God’s appointed wrath or chastening is extremely necessary because it exposes every dark corner of our ‘secret places’. That wrath or chastening is only temporary (“for a moment”) for all the sons of God/all in the first Adam (Luk 3:23-38, 1Co 3:13-15, 1Co 15:22-28, Heb 12:6, Isa 54:7-8, Rev 15:8, Act 14:22):

1Th 5:9 For God hath not appointed us [all in the first Adam] to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Saul’s time of being king over Israel also typifies our own initial awakening when we realize our own ineptness to rule our own land – our flesh. However, as that first deadly wound heals, we again find a hiding place ‘among the trees’, trusting ‘the arm of flesh’, and covered “among the stuff” (Rev 13):

Jer 17:5 Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.

The story of Jotham is also very fitting in showing the negative and positive applications of hiding. Jotham was the youngest son of seventy sons of Gideon, one of the judges of Israel. When Gideon died, his son Abimelech, by his concubine at Shechem, aspired to be ruler in the place of his Father. Abimelech then massacred all his brothers, except for Jotham who went and hid himself:

Jdg 9:6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.

The negative application of hiding is seen here in Abimelech who found his support and protection ‘among the trees’ – men. From the top of mount Gerizim, Jotham communicated a parable to the men of Shechem pertaining to trees, reflecting on the curse when we trust in men. In this parable Abimelech was represented by a shallow, useless and thorny bramble bush which accepted rulership over the other trees (Jdg 9:6-57, Hos 10:8, Luk 6:44, Heb 6:8), but this bush and the other fruitless trees were destroyed by fire which related also to an evil spirit sent by God to cause division between Abimelech and the men of Shechem after he only reigned three years and was eventually killed (Psa 29:5, Isa 2:10-13).

Jdg 9:56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren:
Jdg 9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal [Gideon].

God’s true rulers are hidden until the appointed time as in the case of Joash when the wicked Athaliah, the daughter of Ahab and Jezebel, became the only female ruler ever to reign in Judah (representing the false church). After the death of her husband Jehoram and of her son Ahaziah, she took to the throne herself and wanted to destroy “all the seed royal of the house of Judah”. Joash was hidden by his aunt, Jehoshabeath, the wife of Jehoiada the high priest, for six years right in the house of God! In type this refers to Christ and His wife, the church, who is hiding us and helping us to rule and reign over our own evil:

2Ch 22:10 But when Athaliah the mother of Ahaziah saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the seed royal of the house of Judah.
2Ch 22:11 But Jehoshabeath, the daughter of the king, took Joash the son of Ahaziah, and stole him from among the king’s sons that were slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedchamber. So Jehoshabeath, the daughter of king Jehoram, the wife of Jehoiada the priest, (for she was the sister of Ahaziah,) hid him from Athaliah, so that she slew him not.
2Ch 22:12 And he was with them hid by his aunt in the house of God six years: and Athaliah reigned over the land.

While reigning under the supervision of the high priest Jehoiada when he (Jehoiada) was still alive, Joash reigned well, even repairing the temple. But when Jehoiada died, Joash fell away in false worship of idols (2Ki 12:1-2, 13:1). This shows that it is only while we are hiding in ‘the Lord and His Christ’ that we will be ruling well over the kingdom of this world inwardly, which will also manifest outwardly at the appointed time:

Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [Greek aorist tense] the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever [the eons of the eons].

God’s true spiritual rulers must still endure their period of preparation under severe trials to be faithful until the end, even when they know they have been chosen (Rev 3:10, 13:10, 14:12, 17:14). David was already anointed as new king over Israel, but had to wait several years to rule over the whole of Israel (1Sa 16:11-12, 2Sa 5:4). In that time he had to run and hide from Saul, amongst others, who would not give up on his hatred towards David (so familiar of our own anointed but rejected fleshly king). David knew his election and did not retaliate against Saul, even when he had several opportunities to kill him (Psa 54, Psa 63). This also shows the process we are going through as we learn patience with ourselves and with others who cannot see what we see. This is how we show mercy because it is truly in patience that we take possession of our true kingly inheritance in the spirit (Rom 11:30-32):

Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.
Luk 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
Luk 21:17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake.
Luk 21:18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
Luk 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

To be hidden in God, even through rejection and persecution, is much more profitable than to be hiding ‘among the trees’, even the best trees and highest trees on the earth. God is the only true shelter, and His Word is the only proper stronghold. David hid the Word of God in his heart “that [he] might not sin against [God]”, like Rahab hid the spies and “received the messengers” (Psa 119:11, Jas 2:25, Jos 2:4, Pro 2:1):

Psa 32:7 Thou art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Selah.
Psa 32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.

Pro 27:12 A prudent man foreseeth the evil, and hideth himself; but the simple pass on, and are punished.

This theme of hiding is also applicable to God as His truth is a ‘secret place’ and a mystery to the natural mind (Psa 91:1-16, Mat 13:44). Adam and Eve were living in spiritual darkness and could not see that God knows all things. The natural mind cannot accept the light of God and walks in its own light not knowing where it is going (Mat 6:23). So God appeared to Adam and Eve in the “cool of the day” or in the spirit of their natural understanding:

Gen 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [Hebrew: ruach= spirit] of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

From this carnal perspective it seems as if God hides from us and that God does not see or hear us, because His ways and thoughts are not the ways and thoughts of the generation of the first Adam (Psa 44:24, Isa 45:15-25, Isa 55:8-9):

Mic 3:4 Then shall they cry unto the LORD, but he will not hear them: he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings.

Job 33:17 That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.

Nothing is hidden from God at any stage, and we all shall see His face through His righteous judgments as we get rid of these earthy vessels and obstacles of dishonor (2Ch 16:9, Job 26:6, Pro 5:21, Jer 16:17, Heb 4:13):

Dan 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

Luk 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.

[Detailed studies and emails written by Mike Vinson relating to this foundational theme in Scripture will broaden spiritual insights much more. Other themes referred to in this study are also available on including:]

After the Counsel of His Own Will – Part 10
Strong Delusion
Does God Foreknow Our Decisions?
What are the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven?

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