Summary: Enoch preached about coming judgement
He preached about coming judgement – Jude 1:14,15
Jude 1:14 Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, 15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly
We live in a society where tolerance is lauded above almost all other virtues. All religious roads lead to God, as indeed does taking no road at all! Strangely the only place that this tolerance does not extend to is historic Christianity. The problem is that the claims of the Bible are exclusive – one way is right and other ways are wrong. We are classed with extreme Muslims and labelled fundamentalists. Indeed to many we are worse! President Bush is an evangelical Christian. The war with Iraq is the result of his evangelical beliefs and his blind support of Israel. We take our beliefs too seriously, we say that others are wrong and in line for God’s judgement.
Strangely, at the same time, our society has become more accepting of other extreme views, militant environmentalists, those who oppose all medical experiments on animals, not to mention fur clothes. You can be a militant football supporter or a fan of some movie or pop star and no one thinks twice about it. But if you take the Bible seriously you are a fundamentalist nutter and should be exiled to Cuba with Al Kaeda!
A little while a go a Church of England church nearby was to be demolished as part of redevelopment. The council planned to build a multi faith centre to replace it and could not understand why that was unacceptable to the Curate.
Enoch would have had no truck with views like that. He warned the people among whom he lived of God’s coming judgement. If all religions, and indeed none, are equally valid then there can be no judgement, but Enoch warned the people that judgement was coming because the people were ungodly. God had told them how to live and they chose to go in their own direction.
Attitudes and behaviour in Enoch’s time
What does scripture tell us of attitudes and behaviour in Enoch’s time? The only glimpse that we get is in the run up to the flood, but there is no reason to believe that it was very different a few hundred years earlier. Outwardly everything was perfectly normal: Mt.24:37 “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage
But underneath God saw things very differently: Gen.6:5 Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his 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. 7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
The people’s wickedness was in stark contrast with the description of Noah: Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. 9 … Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God. God was clearly contrasting Noah with the other people of his day, so they lacked these qualities.
Putting these two passages together we can see that God found men wanting in 3 particular areas. Firstly in their behaviour ¾ the wickedness of man was great. We don’t know the detail of this wickedness, but it is contrasted with the fact that Noah was a just man. There are two sides to this justice. He was just in his dealings with his fellow men; he did not lie to or cheat them. He did not abuse them verbally or physically. We know from other scriptures that God hates human injustice.
What about us today; how do we compare? Do we treat others justly?
· We exploit those who are least able to object. People in the third world are paid peanuts to produce food, clothes, etc. for us. They are often left with insufficient food and clothing for their families. We charge them excessively for drugs and dump dangerous pesticides etc that we have banned onto them. Our pollution, our CO2 damages their environment and causes global warming with vastly increased risk of flooding for them. Businesses still fight and lie to make and sell cigarettes although they know they kill and destroy lives. Might is right. Profit is king!
· Dishonesty and self-serving is the norm for public figures and businesses. Individuals are not far behind; fraudulent insurance claims are common. Murder, mugging, burglary and drug dealing are commonplace. God hates such exploitation and deceit. Jer 22: 13 "Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness And his chambers by injustice, Who uses his neighbour’s service without wages And gives him nothing for his work…17 "your eyes and your heart are for nothing but your covetousness, For shedding innocent blood, And practicing oppression and violence."