– by Nico Bougas
The Bible does not tell us a great deal about Enoch except for what we read in this verse. “And Enoch walked with God and he was not for God took him.” – Gen 5:24. Little else is known of him, but centuries could not efface this attribute that he walked with God. We do not read that he built any cities, or fought any battles, or wrought any miracles, or preached any great sermons. Yet centuries have come and gone and his name is still remembered wherever the message of the Bible is proclaimed. We still remember Enoch by this one great characteristic – he walked with God.
Living for God is never easy
There is nothing to indicate that he was other than an ordinary man. He was no administrator like Joseph, he was no leader like Moses, he was not a statesman like Daniel. He was simply a man who walked with God.
Enoch lived in an era when it wasn’t easy to walk with God. Wickedness and evil abounded so that he stood out like a sore thumb. It is never easy trying to live for God. Sometimes we think that if we had lived in another age, or if our circumstances were different, it would be easier to live for Christ. But He never did promise us a rose garden. The only assurance that He gave us was that we would experience tribulation in the world and that we could be encouraged because He had overcome the world and He would never leave us nor forsake us.
Here are 5 things that this verse suggests to us about Enoch:
1 – Enoch talked with God
If Enoch walked with God we can assume it means that he talked with God. When you go for a walk with a person one of the things you naturally do is talk with them, otherwise you may as well walk by yourself. Enoch walked with God and talked with Him. God talked with Enoch because God is not a dead idol, He is not some distant being unable to communicate with us. He is interested in our lives and its details. He says that not one sparrow falls to the ground but your Heavenly Father knows it. So when we speak to Him we can expect an answer. Sometimes He may speak to us through a whole whirlwind of circumstances and we know very definitely God has brought things about for us to go in a certain direction. Sometimes He speaks to us through a still small voice and we have that deep inner assurance and peace that we should move in a certain direction, sometimes He opens doors for us in an unmistakeable way and no one can shut them. But usually He speaks to us through His Word, the Bible.
Read, study, meditate
So read the Bible, study the Bible and meditate upon the Bible, which is the Word of God. But beware! Regular use causes loss of anxiety, decreased appetite for lying, cheating, stealing, and hating. And it produces several side effects: increased sensations of love, peace, joy, and compassion. Read the Bible and allow God to speak to you through it, and don’t read it as a history book or some dull and dusty textbook. Read it, as it is God’s Word to you, God’s love letter to you, and the more you read it the more your love for God will grow.
2 – Enoch discovered God
As one walks and talks you learn things about the person you are talking with. By talking I am communicating to you who I am and you communicate to me who you are. As Enoch walked and talked with God he discovered that: God is Spirit – He is not limited by space, He can be everywhere at the same time. He can hear the cry of a mother in Australia share the anguish of a son in Syria or a daughter in India. And as such He is unchangeable and consistent day after day and year after year. The Bible says that God is spirit and they that we must worship Him in spirit and truth.
God is personal
This means that He is not some abstract force. He thinks, He feels, He wills, and He loves. He reaches out to us and yearns to give us the very best. He wants to see us develop and grow and progress in the faith. Even when we are unfaithful, He loves us, even when we drift away from Him, He loves us. Even when we fall into sin and disgrace His Name, He still loves us. The Bible says that He has loved us with an everlasting love and He has drawn us with chords of loving-kindness. His love for us does not depend on us and on our loveableness for we are all sinful beings. But God is love.
God is real
We may not always see Him, feel Him, experience Him, but He is there whether we know it or not. There was once a little boy out flying his kite. The kite went high into the sky, so high that it eventually could not be seen as it disappeared amongst some low clouds. A man came past and saw this little boy with the string in his hands looking up into the sky and asked him what he was doing. The boy told him he was flying his kite. “But I don’t see any kite, how do you know there is a kite up there?” “Well” said the boy, “every now and then I feel a tug on the string and I know that my kite is there.” In the same way we may not always feel God or see Him but despite the clouds that seem to hide Him all through life we experience those little tugs, those evidences that assure us that He is, that He cares, and that He is interested in us and loves us.
3 – Enoch made progress with God
The other factor about Enoch walking with God was that he made some progress. When you walk with a person. You do not stand in the same place all the time and you cover some distance, you make some progress. so when he walked with God he made some progress. The Bible says that we have to make some progress as Christians. We cannot stay the same, we have to grow and develop. It is good for us to stop every now and then and have a little spiritual check-up and see how we are progressing as Christians.
How do we make progress in the Christian faith?
In the epistle to the Hebrews we read that Enoch pleased God by faith, and that without faith it is impossible to please God. If we are to please God we must exercise faith. We must be men and women of faith. We cannot simply be hearers of the Word, we must be doers. We must put into practise what we hear. Noah heard the Word of the Lord. God told him that He was going to send a flood. He told Noah to prepare Himself, He told Noah to warn the people and Noah didn’t merely listen, he acted upon what he heard. It would have done him no good at all to know about the flood and know that God was about to judge the earth and not take any action. He didn’t see any storm clouds, he didn’t have any outward evidence that a flood was coming, he had to act in faith on what God had said.
Miracles happen when we operate in faith
When Moses led the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt he ran into a problem. he had the Egyptians behind him, mountains to the side, and in front of him were the waters of the Red Sea. What was he to do. God told him, “lift up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea…” – Deut 14:16. It is easy enough for us to say “well that was simple” – we have the advantage of hindsight. But it has never been done before. Moses had never heard of Cecil B. de Mille or paid a visit to Universal Studios. It took a step of faith on his part. It was only when he acted on what God had said that God opened up the Red Sea and performed that great miracle.
You say, that’s fine but I don’t have that kind of faith. how do I get to have faith? The Bible says “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God” – Rom. 10:17. You build your faith by spending time with the Word of God. We prepare ourselves for the spiritual battles and to be able to meet the challenges of life with faith by spending time with God and with His Word and in so doing build up our faith.
4 – Enoch followed God’s direction
The next thing that we can assume about Enoch walking with God is that when they walked, they walked in the same direction. you cannot walk with anybody if you are walking in different directions, then you are walking with them. In the Old Testament the prophet Amos says, “Can two walk together except they be agreed?”
To walk with God is to set Him always before us. It is to live a life of fellowship with Him. It is to make God’s Word our rule and standard for living. Enoch found out which direction God was going and went that way with Him.
How do we know which direction to take? That was the question that Thomas asked in John 14 when he said, “We have no idea where you are going, so how can we know the way?” To which Jesus replied – “I am the way, the truth and the life…” – John 14:6. If we follow the way that He goes, if we move in the same direction that He is, then we shall be walking with God.
5 – Enoch went home with God
Finally we read of the end of his life here on earth, “and he was not for God took him…” Death held no terrors for Enoch. He did not live like the rest of us so he did not die like the rest of us.
People have different attitudes towards death. Some people shrug their shoulders and say well it’s inevitable, “Que Sera Sera – whatever will be, will be.” Others say that when you are dead, you are dead, like a dog; there is nothing more to it. They are like the Greek philosopher, who had these words on his tombstone, “I was not, I became, I am not, I care not”. There are others who view it as something inexplicable and they fear death as children fear going into the dark. For the Christian death is coming but beyond it we are going to hear the words of the Saviour, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” – Matt. 25:34.
How will you end your days?
When Paul reached the final days of his mission here on earth he looked back and said, “I have fought the good fight …” In contrast when King Saul came to the end of his days he had to say. “I have played the fool, and erred exceedingly…” How will you end your days? Will you be able to look back with satisfaction and a feeling of fulfilment and will you be filled with regrets at having played the fool and wasted your life?