Genesis 3:8—How could Adam and Eve go from God’s presence if God is everywhere?

Problem: The Bible says that God is everywhere present at the same time, that is, He is omnipresent (Ps. 139:7–10; Jer. 23:23). But, if God is everywhere, then how could Adam and Eve be sent out “from the presence of the Lord”?

Solution: This verse is not speaking of God’s omnipresence, but of a visible manifestation of God (cf. v. 24). God is everywhere in His omnipresence, but from time to time He manifested Himself in certain places through certain things, such as a burning bush (Ex. 3), the pillar of fire (Ex. 13:21), smoke in the temple (Isa. 6), and so forth. It is in this latter localized sense that one can go “from the presence of the Lord.”

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.