Summary: Next in series on Genesis. An examination of the life of Enoch. Expanded outline
AN EPITAPH WORTH HAVING
- Genesis 5:1-5, 21-24
> Hebrews 11:5 By faith, Enoch was taken away so that he did not experience death, and he was not to be found because God took him away. For prior to his transformation he was approved, having pleased God.
A number of years ago I went to a conference for preachers in East Tennessee. While I was there I met an old, retiring preacher who told me about a headstone he had read in his area. It said:
“Remember as you walk by, As you are now, so once was I. As I am now, so shall you be. Remember this and follow me.” He said that written under it was a note that said, “To follow you I’ll not consent, until I know which way you went.” (I also found this and the following headstones on the internet)
It is funny, some of the things you can find written on headstones, or said about people after they pass.
In a Pennsylvania cemetery you find a headstone that reads: “Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake; stepped on the gas instead of the brake.”
A headstone in England reads: “The children of Israel wanted bread and the Lord sent them Manna. Old Clerk Wallace wanted a wife and the Devil sent him Anna.”
One in Chattanooga, TN says, “I came into this world without my consent and left in the same manner.”
Many things can be engraved on our headstones or said about us when we die, but I cannot imagine anything better being said about anyone than what was said about Enoch in Hebrews 11:5 … he was approved, having pleased God. Can you imagine it being said after you die, that you pleased God? Can you imagine God saying that about you?
Can you imagine, after you die, or after you leave, having God inspire someone to write about you, “He walked with Me, I approved of him and he pleased Me?
For a Christian, I cannot imagine greater praise than that.
The Bible doesn’t tell us a whole lot about Enoch. We have a couple of verses in Genesis 5. We have this verse in Hebrews and 2 verses in Jude, and that is about it. There are, however, several items we know about Enoch.
I. ENOCH LIVED IN TIMES LIKE OURS
1. It was a time of humanism – People often think that the reason some of the people in the Bible were able to live godly lives, and were able to live in a way that was pleasing to God is that they lived in easier days. They believe folks back in Bible days don’t face the same trials and temptations that we face and that somehow pleasing God was easier for them. That simply is not the case. Listen, people in Bible days face the same trials and temptations we face. We know, for instance, that when Enoch lived it was a time of humanism.
I imagine that after Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden, that they didn’t go far. They didn’t travel far from the garden. They didn’t want to get away from God. They might have been disobedient, but after they were things had not turned out exactly as they had planned. Even though they had sinned, they still wanted to be near God and wanted God near them. It was not that way for many however.
In Genesis 4:16 we read that Cain went out from the Lord’s presence. He didn’t want anything to do with God. He started a religion of his own. He started his own humanism and tried to use things in his life to fill the void that God had once filled.
He, and his children after him, built a city, trying to hide their loneliness, godlessness, and emptiness in the roar and busyness of the crowd. Humanism, where humanity and things take the place of God, reigned in many people’s lives.
How very similar to our day. Where Christians founded this nation and started the public school system, we are hearing with increasing frequency that our beliefs and our God are no longer welcome in the public schools. Christians are being laughed at and made fun of in many of our television shows.
Our day, like Enoch’s is a time of humanism.
God intended for one man to be married to one woman. He intended for the 2 to become one flesh, to experience a closeness, a oneness. God intended them to help one another, to be partners in life, but not with many in the world. They were ate up with appearance
- Adah – “Ornamental” She was good to look at. She looked good on his arm. She wasn’t a partner. She wasn’t a helpmeet. She wasn’t bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She was a trophy wife.