Friday, October 22, 2010

Enoch


Today we rejoin my Friday series on the men and women of God featured in in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews.  This week our study focuses on Enoch.
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 NKJV
For the account of Enoch, we have to return to Genesis.
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah.  After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.  Genesis 5:21-24 NKJV
And that is all we know about the life of Enoch.  It does not seem like much was really written about Enoch.  We knew he lived 365 years.  We know be bore Methuselah and other sons and daughters.  We know Methuselah was the longest living person in the Bible.  We know he was Noah's great grandfather.  We also know that he never died, but that God just took him.  But about his actual life, what he did, and what he accomplished, we know nothing.  His life is summed up in the words "And Enoch walked with God."  That actually tells us a lot. 

First of all, there is no "but."  So many accounts of others in the Bible, even those who did right in the sight of God, have a "but."  There are very few examples where there is no negative mentioned, Enoch is one of those examples.  God makes no mention of anything negative about Enoch's life.  There is no sin, no controversy, no straying, no nothing.  He walked with God, and that was all that could be said about Enoch.  Is this to say that Enoch never sinned?  Of course not, everyone has sinned.  What this is saying is that Enoch never lost that heart after God. He never faltered in his faith.  He never turned away from God. 

Not only did Enoch walk with God, Enoch walked with God for over 300 years.  Think about that for a minute.  For over 300 hundred years, Enoch walked with God.  For over 300 years, there is nothing else to say about Enoch except that he walked with God.  Can we even say that about ourselves for the past 300 days?  I doubt any of us can, including myself. 

What we also see that in order to please God, it is not about great accomplishments for God but about walking with God.  It is about faith.  We learn in Hebrews that Enoch pleased God with his faith.  It was not with his works, though I am sure he had them.  It was not about living perfectly, as I am sure Enoch did not.  It is about faith.  It is about trusting in God.  Pleasing God is a function of our faith in God.  To please God, we must trust God.  Trusting God means we surrender ourselves to his Lordship over our lives.  Surrendering ourselves to His Lordship will result in righteous living, confessing our sins to God, trusting in God alone to get us through our problems, trusting in God to provide for us, trusting that God knows better than we do, trusting in God's intentions especially when they seem to conflict with our own, trusting in God's wisdom over the wisdom of man, and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and the price He paid as the complete payment for our unrighteousness.  Trust leads to action; faith leads to works.  We can not say if we trust God if we do not live for God. Conversely, without faith it is impossible to please God.  If you do not trust God, you will not please God no matter what else you may do. 

And so there you have Enoch.  He pleased God for over 300 years.  He entire life was summed up in four words "Enoch walked with God."  What four words sum up our lives?  Can we say that we walked with God or do we need to add a "but."  Can we say we have pleased God with our living faith expressed in our righteous living and works for God?  Can we say that we pleased God at all?  Enoch walked with God for over 300 years and was rewarded with never having to taste death.  God tells us in Hebrews that just as Enoch was rewarded for diligently seeking God, so will we be.  One day we will face our Lord and receive our rewards for how we pleased God with our faith in this life.  What will your reward be?  I love how Paul speaks at the end of his life.  May we be able to say the same.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.  2 Timothy 4:7-8 NKJV

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