By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11, verses 5-6.
Do you know the story of Enoch? Outside of the Bible, to our society today, he’s pretty irrelevant. From Genesis 5: “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” So let’s recap. Compared to the others in the line from Adam to Noah, Enoch didn’t live very long (only365 years) and he had kids when he was a “young” man of 65. Enoch was the father of Methuselah (who is recorded as having lived 969 years: longer than any other human in history). He had other unnamed children. And Enoch “walked with God.”
In the rest of the narrative, that phrase matters. None of the other men or women in the narrative (from Adam to Noah) are said to have “walked with God.” My Concordia Bible reminds that “walking with God” is different from merely living. Seth, the child of promise after Cain murdered Abel, isn’t said to have walked with God. Not long-lived Methuselah, and not his son, Lamech, who became the father of Noah. Only Noah is said to have also ‘walked with God’ and that was long after Enoch.
It wasn’t for not knowing God. Genesis 4 says that, around the time of Seth, men began to call on the name of the Lord. This means that men and women knew God and knew they depended on God. Adam and Eve had known God perfectly and had rejected Him. Their son, Abel, had known and understood God, but had been killed by his envious brother. Cain knew God face to face and flaunted Him. Cain’s brother, Seth, and then Seth’s children and children’s children all knew God and started to call on Him for things He would do and provide. Yet they didn’t walk with God. Only Enoch did that.
We can’t know for certain how many people were on the Earth in those days. A website, https://www.neverthirsty.org/bible-qa/qa-archives/question/how-was-the-world-populated/, mathematically postulates that the pre-flood world population could have been massive by the time of the flood; at least as much as the 6 billion people alive now. That makes for a great many people who knew God, or at least knew of Him, yet the Bible says only Enoch walked with God. Enoch believed in God, put his faith in God, trusted God all through his 365 years. Enoch lived to seek God, to know God more. Not until King David many centuries later is there a person mentioned in the Bible who sought God’s heart this way. At the end of His life, Enoch didn’t die. Like Elijah the prophet, God simply took Enoch. One second he was here and the next second he wasn’t. That’s a rare gift from a graceful God since the Bible records it happened to only one other person.
Knowing God isn’t enough. Instead of simply knowing of Him, which even un-believers do, we need to believe in Him, to put our faith and trust in Him. We NEED to do as Enoch did. Instead of simply saying “I believe in God” because “In God We Trust” is on our money, we need to believe in God in such a way that we let Him become a truly intimate partner in our lives. We involve ourselves with Him. We talk with Him. We plan with Him. We cry, obsess, think, scream, laugh, and do everything with Him. Like Enoch, we learn to walk with God. We our faith in God and this pleases Him because we do so from the heart.
Maybe it was easier for Enoch. Maybe God walked and talked with Enoch the way He had with his ancestors Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel. Or maybe not; Scripture doesn’t say and, to be honest, it doesn’t really matter. What matters to us is walking with God.
For further reading: Genesis 5:21-24, Hebrews 7:19.
Lord, I pray, let me walk with You today. Walk with me today that I might know You more and model my day in Your way.