Summary: Enoch’s life demonstrates what it means to walk with God.
Shiloh Bible Church
Faith’s Hall of Fame: Enoch
There is only one left in the United States of America.
Since Harry Richard Landis died 2 weeks ago, there is only 1 left. Landis was the oldest U.S. veteran of World War I. He died on February 11 at the age of 108.
More than 4 ½ million Americans joined the military in 1917 and 1918 to serve in World War I. Now there is only one remaining: Frank Buckles of Charles Town, West Virginia who is 107.
It’s amazing to think that there is still one man living today who served in World War I—90 years ago. Present day longevity is incredible. But it’s nothing compared to the longevity experienced by the antediluvians—the people who lived on earth before the flood of Noah. One such person was a man by the name of Enoch. We are told about him in Hebrews chapter 11. Please turn there with me in your Bibles.
Hebrews chapter 11 lists men and women of the Old Testament who lived their lives by faith. Last week we considered the first inductee into Faith’s Hall of Fame—Adam and Eve’s second child—Abel. This week we want to examine the life of another man of faith—a man by the name of Enoch. In Hebrews 11:5 we read: “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.”
Now, Enoch’s story is recorded for us in Genesis chapter 5. Keep one finger in Hebrews 11 and turn back with me to the first book of the Bible—the book of Genesis chapter 5.
Now, I realize that Hebrews 11 doesn’t give us much information about Enoch. But neither does Genesis 5! As a matter of fact, Enoch story is told in only 4 verses, totaling 51 words. Look at Genesis 5:21: “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years. Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
From this account we learn that Enoch lived over 3 ½ centuries—365 years to be exact. That’s a long time! And yet, men’s lives spanned hundreds of years in the antediluvian period. Apparently, before the Flood, the earth’s environment enabled people to live longer. Also, it’s possible that the effects of Adam’s sin had not taken its toll on man’s longevity. Either way, the Bible tells us that Enoch lived to be 365 years old.
Now, use your sanctified imagination with me for a moment. If Enoch’s life ended this year—in 2008, that means he would have been born back in 1643—365 years ago. The same year that …
· Sir Isaac Newton—the famous English astronomer and physicist—was born
· Louis 14th became King of France
On Enoch’s 100th birthday in 1743 …
· Thomas Jefferson—our 3rd President—would have been born
· Handel would have first performed his oratorio Samson
When Enoch celebrated his 2nd century in 1843 …
· Ulysses S. Grant graduated from West Point
· Frank James—the famous outlaw and William McKinley—our 25th President were born
· Charles Dickens 1st published A Christmas Carol and Edgar Allen Poe 1st published his short story The Tell-Tale Heart
In 1943, on Enoch’s 300th birthday …
· The United States was entrenched in World War II
And finally, in 2008, the whole world would know of Enoch’s departure in one instant through satellite communication.
Not only that, but Enoch’s son, Methuselah who would have been born in 1708 when Enoch was 65 years old, would not die until the 27th century—in AD 2677—at the ripe old age of 969 years.
Now, Enoch’s lifespan was brief compared to that of his son. But he still lived a long time by present day standards. And his quality of life was equally amazing—300 of his 365 years were characterized by a life of faith.
Now, Genesis 5 has been called “The Graveyard Chapter of the Bible.” Repeatedly throughout the chapter we read the words “and then he died.” We find that phrase in verses 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 27, and 31. We read that someone was born; he lived; he had children; and then he died. We see this cyclical pattern throughout chapter 5—with one exception. Look at verse 24 with me again: “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”
What does that mean: “Then he was no more, because God took him away”? It means that Enoch didn’t die—he was taken up bodily into heaven. Keep one finger here in Genesis 5 and turn back to Hebrews 11 with me. Look at how the writer of Hebrews explains this event in verse 5: “By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away.”