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In Genesis 5 time after time we read, “And he died.” Eight times in all. It seems a depressing genealogy that we can quickly skip over. It reminds us only of the consequences of Adam’s disobedience and the one certainty in life since. In verses 21 to 24, however, we have a notable exception. And we shall direct our attention to the consideration of this remarkable man.
Genesis 5:18 Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch. 19 After he begot Enoch, Jared lived eight hundred years, and had sons and daughters. …21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.
We read about Enoch only in 4 passages totalling 9 verses – don’t confuse him with his cousin of the same name, the son of Cain, grandson of Adam and Eve who is mentioned earlier in Gen 5. So we know very little about him, nevertheless his name means to instruct, to initiate, to dedicate and by considering his example we can be instructed and challenged to dedicate ourselves to the Lord.
He does not seem to have been special like many of his contemporaries:
· Jabal the original cowboy and nomad – tent dwellers who kept livestock. Gen 4:20
· Jubal the first musician – playing the harp and flute. Gen 4:21
· Tubal-Cain the first craftsman in bronze and iron and teacher of craftsmen. Gen 4:22
Why then are we going to spend our time thinking about him, hanging a lot of words on very few, when we ignore these others who contributed so many of the developments that we now take for grated? Firstly it is because we are, by and large, ordinary people − I don’t think any of us are going to revolutionise industry, the arts or politics! So we can all relate to an ordinary bloke. The original man on the Clapham camel-train! God chose, and still generally chooses, ordinary people rather than those who are rich, famous or intellectual giants!
Secondly it is because Enoch lived in very difficult times. The author of Genesis has already written about original sin and murder and is moving towards a time of great wickedness when God will lament that every intent of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil continually.6 And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Gen 6) In short the times were very like our own and were heading towards judgement.
Thirdly it is because of some of the phrases that are used to describe Enoch:
·Enoch walked with God – Gen 5:22
·he pleased God – Heb 11:5 – the only man of whom that is explicitly recorded in scripture
·he preached about coming judgement – Jude 1:14,15
·Enoch was translated that he should not see death – Hebrews 11:5 God took Enoch home so he did not see death Gen 5:22 & Heb 11:5. In this he foreshadows what will happen to God’s people at the end of the age and this gives us hope.
His importance is confirmed by a possible reference to Enoch in ancient Babylonian writings. Berosus, a priest of Marduk’s temple at Babylon in about 300 BC tells of the ten kings of the Chaldeans who reigned before the flood. He says that the seventh king is Enmeduranki, who was said to have been summoned by the gods Shamash and Ramman into their fellowship
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