He Came Walking
Fear seized [Adam and Eve] immediately upon their eating the forbidden fruit, Gen. 3:8.
Observe here, What was the cause and occasion of their fear: They heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. It was the approach of the Judge that put them into a fright; and yet he came in such a manner as made it formidable only to guilty consciences.
It is supposed that he came in a human shape, and that he who judged the world now was the same that shall judge the world at the last day, even that man whom God has ordained. He appeared to them now (it should seem) in no other similitude than that in which they had seen him when he put them into paradise; for he came to convince and humble them, not to amaze and terrify them.
He came into the garden, not descending immediately from heaven in their view, as afterwards on mount Sinai (making either thick darkness his pavilion or the flaming fire his chariot), but he came into the garden, as one that was still willing to be familiar with them.
He came walking, not running, not riding upon the wings of the wind, but walking deliberately, as one slow to anger, teaching us, when we are ever so much provoked, not to be hot nor hasty, but to speak and act considerately and not rashly.
He came in the cool of the day, not in the night, when all fears are doubly fearful, nor in the heat of day, for he came not in the heat of his anger. Fury is not in him, Isa. 27:4. Nor did he come suddenly upon them; but they heard his voice at some distance, giving them notice of his coming, and probably it was a still small voice, like that in which he came to enquire after Elijah. Some think they heard him discoursing with himself concerning the sin of Adam, and the judgment now to be passed upon him, perhaps as he did concerning Israel, Hos. 11:8, 9. How shall I give thee up?
His heart broken, creation’s perfection shattered, his image-bearers marred and subject to death, he came walking. Gently, softly, lovingly, kindly the King of the universe came walking.
And when he came to make atonement for that sin, Jesus too came walking.
He too came in such a manner as made it formidable only to those who recognised who he was and saw the depth of their guilt.
He came as a man, as one who was willing to be familiar with us.
We heard a voice, calling in the wilderness, giving us notice of his coming. And, knowing the heartbreak that awaited him, knowing he was to take on the brokenness of all creation and be scarred by those his hands had made, knowing he was to become death for us, he came, walking.