Summary: Introduction to series of 4 studies in the life of Enoch, focussing on his walk with God
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 and made acquainted with the secrets of heaven and earth. Enoch was, of course, in the 7th generation from Adam. Coincidence?
Do we want to please God? Do we want to have a part in the resurrection or rapture? If so we should emulate Enoch. What I want us to do is to consider what scripture says about Enoch so that we can learn from his good example.
Enoch walked with God – Gen 5:22
Firstly Enoch is one of only 2 men of whom it is explicitly said in scripture that they walked with God. Noah is the other one (Gen 6:9). This is important for us because God wants us to walk with Him too. If we see how and why Enoch walked with God then, perhaps, we can learn from his example.
What did it mean for Enoch to walk with God? The Hebrew denotes intimacy, or fellowship. Enoch had an inner communion with God and was conscious of His presence. The love that this close fellowship produced made him determined to live in such a way as to please God, so far as this was humanly possible. This communion with God went hand in hand with raising a family – celibacy is not essential for a holy life. Indeed it may be that the birth of Methuselah brought him closer to God.