Two First Questions

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
[Notes of an Open-air Address given in Key West, Florida ]
I WANT to speak to you to-night on a couple of questions. They are questions of the day. Every country and age has its questions and problems to face and work out, if it can. Here in the South you have the race question of black and white. All Europe has constantly before it the troublesome "Eastern Question." And there is in the great industrial world the question of capital and labor; and in the sphere of economics there is the much discussed trust question.
But there are questions of deeper import and wider scope than these. One of those I wish to speak on to-night is the oldest question in human history, and concerns all mankind. It is found in Gen. 3:99And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? (Genesis 3:9)—the first question in the Old Testament—
“Adam, where art thou?" It is addressed to Adam, fallen—as representative of the human race. Adam is a generic name, and means simply "man." So God, who asks the question, addresses the whole human family when He says: "Adam [or man], where art thou?”
Where art THOU, man? Art thou in Christ, saved or in sin, on the broad way leading to destruction? Bodily you are here in Key West, Florida. As to circumstances, you may be prosperous, getting on and having what you call a good time. Socially, too, you may be moving in the highest circles. But where are you BEFORE GOD?-where, man, where?
Adam guilty tried to hide from God. But God's eye was on him, and he was brought out into the light of the awful Presence, there to confess his sin, and receive the assurance of pardon and deliverance from the satanic power that had deceived him.
May this question, Where art thou? search every soul and bring the guilty to the bar of conscience, to confess and abhor the sin of which they stand accused. Then, and only then, will they be prepared to ask another question, "Where is HE?" It is the first question in the New Testament.
Unlike the first Old Testament question, it is not asked of a guilty being. It is asked of the sinless Son of God, born in a manger, made partaker of flesh and blood for the suffering of death, for the redemption of fallen man.
It is found in Matt. 2:22Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. (Matthew 2:2), and is asked by the wise men come to seek the new-born Child of the virgin. They are truly wise that seek the Savior. Do you ask, like the Magi of old, "Where is He?" He is in heaven, exalted there to be "a Prince and a Savior." He was in the manger once, then on the cross, made sin for us, He who knew no sin.
Now, glory to His name, He is at the right hand of God, willing and able to save to the uttermost. Oh! that you might feel after Him in your heart to-night and say, "Where is He?" that I may find Him, the hiding place from the storm of wrath against sin, the "Man" made more precious to the sin-smitten soul than the finest gold of Ophir.
Behold Him, behold Him! on the throne of God, all power His now and forever. He says, "Look unto Me and be ye saved" (Isa. 45:22.)
“Where art thou?" asks a seeking Savior-God of man. "Where is He?" ask seeking sinners, inspired by the eternal wisdom and goodness of God. There are no two more important questions than these in heaven or on earth: and hell knows no other. Of the first she answers, Lost, lost forever! in this place of torment: and of the last they say, In the glory of God, whither I can never come: in the brightness of heaven which out of this darkness mine eyes shall never behold: in the midst of the song I shall never sing, because I would not come to Him that I might have life.
God help all of you to come while you may.
C. K.