Heroes of the Faith: Enoch

ishot_55Today’s Scripture: “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.  But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”  (Hebrews 11:5-6)

Enoch is one of those obscure, mysterious characters in the Bible.  Not very much is said about his life, but what is said is powerful and convicting.  What stands out to us most is that the Bible says that Enoch was a man who walked with God.  Even more convincing is that fact that Enoch walked with God in the midst of a corrupt culture.  He walked with God during one of the most difficult periods in world history.  Despite the ungodly society that surrounded him, Enoch kept his life pure and his faith in God was a beacon of light in a world of darkness.  The writer of Hebrews mentions Enoch second in the Hall of Fame of the Heroes of the Faith.  If Abel is an example of a faith that worshiped God, Enoch is an example of a faith that walked with God.  In verses 5-6, he points out several remarkable ways that Enoch’s faith was on display.

First, Enoch lived his life PURPOSEFULLY.

The Bible tells us that Enoch lived in the days that led up to the Flood.  They were days of corruption and evil upon the earth.  It was a time of unparalleled lawlessness as man’s wickedness was increasing.

Genesis 6:5-6—“Then the Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.  And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.”

Jesus described the wickedness of that generation and compared it to what the generation would be like just before His return.  According to Jesus, they ate, they drank, they married, and they lived their lives apart from God and had no regard for His truth.  Compared to the culture around him, Enoch’s life stood in stark contrast.  Enoch’s faith is to be an example for us of what it means to walk with God in the midst of a perverse generation.  Difficult times call for devoted faith.

The Bible says that after Enoch was 65 years old, he began to walk with the Lord.  A close study of the text in Genesis 5 will reveal that an event took place in Enoch’s life that led to his faith in the Lord.  What was it that happened that resulted in Enoch’s walk with the Lord?  It was the birth of his son, Methuselah.  It is very likely that God gave Enoch a special message that related to his son.  All this can be taken into consideration when you consider the Hebrew meaning of his name:

“Methuselah”—man of the javelin; when he is dead it shall be sent

When Methuselah died, God sent the Flood.  Therefore, it could be that with the birth of his son, Enoch was given a warning from God that judgment was coming.  And it was this truth that gripped his heart and led to his faith. The Bible says that after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God for 300 years.  The moment of faith led to the process of faithfulness.  His faith in God was deepened through his walk with God.  A STEP of faith is but the beginning of a WALK of faith.  When my children were born, they were born unable to walk.  Yet by virtue of their life and physical health, they had the potential to walk.  Over the course of time, they took their first steps.  They stumbled and fell, but they learned to walk.  So it is with the believer in Christ.

Enoch lived his life with great purpose and intentionality.  He could walk with God because his life was in agreement with God.  Amos 3:3 tells us that two people cannot walk together unless they are in agreement.  They have to be headed to the same place, traveling down the same path, and walking at the same pace.  Enoch’s walk with God was a walk of surrender, obedience, and integrity.  You and I can rest assured that Enoch’s walk lined up with Enoch’s talk.

Second, Enoch loved his Lord PASSIONATELY.

Enoch’s walk with God was a visible demonstration of his deep love for God.  He loved the Lord above everything else in his life.  Someone has well said that ‘love’ is spelled T-I-M-E.  We spend time with those whom we truly love the most.  In his walk of faith, the Bible says that Enoch “pleased” God.  The word “pleased” means that he brought delight to God’s heart.  Notice that the writer of Hebrews says that Enoch pleased God rather than pleasing only himself or pleasing everyone else.  Living to please oneself leads to an empty life.  Living to please other people leads to a frustrated life.  Living to please God alone leads to a satisfied life.  Enoch pleased the Lord because the Lord pleased Enoch.  God was “enough” for him!  Since the Bible says that Enoch pleased the Lord, then we know that the truth of verse 6 was true of his life.  At some point in his life, he came to God simply believing that He “is.”

  • He placed his faith in God’s PERSON
  • He placed his faith in God’s PROVISION
  • He placed his faith in God’s PROMISE

God only rewards those who diligently seek Him.  To seek God means to desire Him with all of our heart.  It means to focus our attention on Him and realize that nothing matters that is outside of God and His will for our lives.

Third, Enoch left his legacy POWERFULLY.

Enoch’s personal walk with God led to his powerful witness for God.  The Bible says in verse 5, “…for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”  Enoch had a testimony.  The word literally means “witness.”  What was Enoch’s witness?

Jude 14-15—“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”

God was pleased with Enoch because his faith was not simply something that was felt within his heart; Enoch’s faith was on the tip of his tongue and visibly seen in his life.  He had a visible faith as well as a vocal faith.  He warned his generation of the judgment which was yet to come.

After 300 faithful years of walking with God, the Bible says that God took Enoch.  The wonderful truth that we see so powerfully illustrated in Enoch’s life and legacy is that he didn’t die.  He had been walking with God for so many years that his transfer to heaven wasn’t even an interruption to his life.  His translation to heaven is an illustration of what awaits the church.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-18—“For the Lord Himself will descend with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God.  And the dead in Christ will rise first.  Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.  And thus we shall always be with the Lord.  Therefore comfort one another with these words.”

For Enoch, heaven wasn’t much of an adjustment.  He spent his life living for what truly mattered, his passionate love for God led him to walk with God, and the powerful legacy of faith that he left behind is worth emulating.

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