It was God, in His other-centered seeking and all-knowing wisdom, who came searching for the missing pair. He who knew where they were and what they had done, confronted them with questions borne of heart-broken love. In this first encounter with His sin-infected humans, we see evidences of all the elements He will use in curing the problem, elements of that process that alone will provide eternal security. In the overall, essential setting of His humble pursuit of sinners to bring them all they would need for restoration (mercy), we find here an open review of the record, a case-by-case verdict and sentence, and an execution of the sentence (justice). But the openness of such judgment would require time. So He drew out His cowering creatures. First Adam and then Eve manifested their new nature by adversely accusing others as being the cause of their fall. The consequence of abandoning the principle of self-giving led them to the taking of the fruit, and the condemnation of others. God, in His unchanging character of self-sacrifice gave them a hope that justified their continued existence. The future would contain consequences of self-seeking that they could not then fathom, but He gave above all a promise, the miracle of unrelenting enmity between the author of the lie and the ensnared human race. And at the heart of the cryptic, prophetic promise of mercy and justice was Someone, said to be the Seed of the woman, who would crush the head of the lying serpent. But this crushing would wound the Seed. Embedded in this wondrous hope was the ultimate giving of self, for that crushing victory would be won, not by taking but by giving. God affirmed this by replacing their leaf covering with a blood covering, the skins of the first animals to die, to reveal the cost of sin, and the promise of substitution.
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