I guess that of all Bible characters, Enoch is the most curious. We know little about him but what we do know is exciting and encouraging.
“When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:21-24)
“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5)
These two verses tell us just about everything we know about this great man. However, there is plenty here to consider and contemplate.
Enoch was a real, mortal man.
Enoch lived during a period when mankind reached extraordinary ages. His father lived 962 years and his son, Methuselah, 969 years. “Young” Enoch lived on earth a paltry 365 years. While these ages are extreme they should not be so surprising to the Bible student. If God can create the world from nothing, he can sure create old men! But we note here that Enoch had a very human beginning in his father Jared. He had a wife and he fathered a son. Enoch was not an angel and possessed no superhuman abilities. He was no more divine that anyone else who lived in his day.
His humanity is important because we share the same design. Like Jared, Enoch and Methuselah we are all flesh and blood. We are born in the natural way through the joining of a man and woman. We struggle with physical and spiritual ailments just like they did. Yet we do not share in the same end. Despite his human frailties, Enoch did not taste death!
Enoch was pleasing to God
There is nothing better on a grave marker than “He pleased God.” Such was the epitaph of Enoch (Hebrews 11:5). I try to please my wife, my children, my neighbors and my church family. But the single most important act is to be found pleasing unto God. Nothing matters more. James is pretty clear, “…whoever chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God” (James 4:4, TNIV) Enoch cast his lot with the Creator. As such, he is the one bright spot between his ancestor Abel and the Great flood.
If Enoch could be pleasing to God during a time of deepening depravity (c.f. Genesis 6:5,6), we can be pleasing too. While we are busy making excuses about how busy we are and how demanding our jobs are, the world is spinning away. People are dying without Jesus and culture becomes more and more corrupt. What if the modern world had a few Enoch’s around?
Enoch was not
That phrase in Genesis is unexpected; it hits you square in the face with its implication. Enoch was not. Enoch stopped. Enoch ceased to exist here. All of the others in the chapter 5 genealogy end with the phrase, “and he died.” But not Enoch. Enoch was not. What does that mean? The text simply says that God took him. Enoch did not face death and all of its attendant pains. God was so enthralled with Enoch that he took him on home. Someone, not me, once remarked that Enoch and God walked together. One day, they were closer to heaven than earth and God said, “why don’t you come home with me?” And Enoch agreed.
Enoch was one of only two people in the Bible who did not see death. The other was Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). ((No, Melchizedek is not a third. The passage in Hebrews 7:3 does not mean that Melchizedek was eternal, but that’s another post.)) It is a stunning honor to be counted worthy of avoiding the darkness of death. One day, Enoch was just gone.
Enoch walked with God
Here is the answer to all questions about Enoch. He walked with God (Genesis 5:24). It’s such a simple compliment. But what exactly does it mean? How does one walk with a spirit? God is pictured in Eden as walking in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8). Noah walked with God (Genesis 6:9). God promised to walk among the Israelites (Leviticus 26:12). How does one do that?
We walk with God when we spend time talking with him. We must be in agreement with him and we must be willing to follow him where he leads us. If the Lord points to the south, we cannot walk to the north. Walking to the east or even the southeast will put more distance between us. We must walk precisely where he goes and where he leads.
That is the secret of Enoch’s life. He stayed always with God. He did not veer off but remained in step with his Creator. As such, he was abundantly rewarded. What does God have in store for those who walk with him today? I leave you with the words of Isaiah:
“For of old no one has heard or perceived by the ear, no eye has seen a God besides you, who acts for those who wait for him” (Isaiah 64:4 / 1 Corinthians 2:9)
Bryant Evans may be reached at bryant at preachersstudyblog.com. You can follow Bryant on Twitter @jbevans.
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