We see Enoch in Genesis chapter 5 in the genealogy from Adam to Noah. It is a gloomy chapter, it shows the ultimate result of separation from God, it is a chapter full of death. In Eden God spoke His word, “of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17) Genesis 5 shows the death of all who were in Adam. “Adam lived ….and he died, Seth lived ….and he died, Enosh lived ….and he died, Cainan lived ….and he died, Mahalalel lived …… and he died, and so it continues - the fruit of sin recorded. God had made Adam in His image and he wanted him to subdue the earth in His image. However Seth and all future births were born from fallen Adam and therefore made in the image of fallen Adam. Everyone from Adam were all conceived in sin and therefore sinners from birth. All of us are born from Adam into a fallen life, into a decaying, dying, depressing, darkened state, we are born into a hostile world of empty pain. We all live and then die. To die in sin is separation from God and therefore we need the righteousness of God, which is available by faith. For only He can carry us through the valley of death.
In the middle of this graveyard chapter which shows the terrifying reality of death there is a flicker of light. Enoch - the seventh from Adam - didn’t die but was translated because he walked with God - “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Genesis 5:21) Enoch walked closely with God in a crooked and perverse generation.
I want to look at three areas of his life which I ask God to incorporate more and more into my life.
First I will give some background information on Enoch. Enoch was the seventh generation from Adam. When God took him Adam had died 57 years earlier, Noah would be born 69 years later and all the patriarchs at that time were still alive - the old world's destruction by water would not come for another 669 years. Enoch was a teacher and a prophet. His name means teacher and Jude tells us how he prophesied the Lords Judgment to a wicked generation. He seemed to be the first of a generation of preachers who the Spirit of Christ would use to call the people to repentance. Peter tells us that the Spirit of Christ spoke through these men to preach the heart of God -“ in which also He went and made proclamation to the spirits now in prison, who once were disobedient, when the patience of God kept waiting in the days of Noah, during the construction of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were brought safely through the water.” (1Peter 3:19-20) The whole world before the flood apart from 8 people were destroyed yet the Spirit of Christ preached to these people at that time calling for righteousness. Peter tells us that these people had righteousness preached to them as well, but they rejected the truth.
It was when Enoch had his son Methuselah that he started walking with the Lord. Often children will help us draw closer to God like it did with Enoch. It would seem that by the instruction of God that Enoch gave a prophecy through his son. Methuselah’s name means ‘his death shall bring,’ and its interesting to note that the year Methuselah died the flood happened. The fact that Methuselah is the oldest person ever recorded just shows the extent of the longsuffering and patience of God. He waited patiently for all these people whom He loved in the pre-flood world but their wickedness demanded judgment. Our God is longsuffering and desires that all repent and come to faith in Jesus, but it is against His Holy character to wait around in vain and therefore judgment becomes necessary, just as the judgment of the pre-flood world became necessary.
Enoch lived in a wicked generation of grumblers, fault finders and people following there own lusts - whose god is their belly. It was four generations earlier that people had begun to blaspheme the Lord. (see Genesis 4:26) This would have degraded into lower perversions in Enoch’s generation 'till it was necessary by God to put the world out of its misery with the judgement of the flood. Perhaps looking around the world today we could get a glimpse at the world Enoch lived in - in terms of moral depravity. Yet he walked with God in a special relationship which despite the external culture, was able to be a light to them. This is encouraging to me. As we walk in the world we can “become blameless and harmless children of God with out fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” (Philippians 2:15)
We can shine as lights in the world but not from our own strength, it is Christ shining through us, reaching others through us. This is accomplished as we walk close to Him, just as Enoch had intimacy with Him. As we see God we see ourselves more clearly and become humble before Him, and this is all a result of a faith relationship with God.
“Enoch walked with God,” The word “walked” implies a moving forth, he was journeying and progressing with God day by day in his relationship. Young’s literal translation on this verse adds some light to Enoch’s fervent pursuit of God - “And Enoch walketh habitually with God,” he was living continually and persistently in God. God didn’t save me to keep me as I am, but to be gradually changed by Him.
Walking involves a distance and thus a duration of time. We are walking with God over a duration of time in life and as we walk with Him, His light will gradually reveal areas of our life that need changing. When they are revealed we can confess them to Him and continue our fellowship with Him. As we continue walking through life’s journey, we learn from Him and we are guided by Him and constantly changed through the power of His Spirit.
Enoch wasn’t walking after God but with God. I wonder, are there times in our lives that we go where we would not want God to be walking with us? Perhaps the most essential ingredient for holiness in our lives is more of a God-consciousness in everyday life. Gods invisible eternal presence is always there wherever we go but what we need is more awareness of Him. We need to lift our hearts towards Him and then we will see God more clearly - “for the pure in heart will see God” (Mathew 5:8) Lifting our hearts to Him is lifting our lives in obedience to Him . As Matthew Henry said, “what is godliness, but walking with God?”Llet us continue to walk closely with our God.
So Enoch walked with God but his walk was a walk of humility because he knew he was nothing in the presence of God - “Enoch walked with God: and he was not.” When I see God and know He is with me in every moment nothing else matters in comparison, not even my own self.
In the same way God spoke to Enoch‘s descendant, Abraham and said, “I am your exceeding great reward,” (Genesis 15) He speaks to you and me and tells us that He is all that we need. He is the great I AM - “I Am that I Am,” for he is everything we need, God Himself is what we really desire. I want to delight in Him and He will give me the desires of my heart (Psalm 37:4) and my real desire is for God... to know Him and to dwell in His presence to behold the beauty of the Lord. Nothing else in the world matters not riches , not wisdom, not glories - “let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, Let not the mighty man glory in his might , Nor let the rich man glory in his riches; But let him who glories glory in this, That he understands and knows Me, That I am the LORD.”
What everyman is searching for is God and when we know Him and our delight is in him we get the desires of our heart. The real desire of every man is to know and delight in the Lord. We understand and get that desire when we spend time delighting in Him. When, like Enoch, we spend time delighting in the Lord, we realize our position towards our Creator. That is when we realize that we are not. HE is the ‘I Am’ but we are the ‘we are nots.’ He is God and we are ’not.’ When I realize that I am not, I realize my position towards the Creator. Andrew Murray puts it this way, “to be nothing before God is the glory of the creature.” That is I am exalted when I am nothing, I am exalted when I show my the character of my Creator and I show the humility of my Creator by becoming nothing. In other words by becoming a ‘not.’ My desire is to be, like Enoch - to be nothing in the light of the almighty God.
Jesus humbled himself and become obedient to death on a cross and humility in us will lead to death. Humility is the “path to death.” Jesus now lives in us, the Spirit of Christ's humility lives in us and wants to transform us in the image of Jesus. God took Enoch and he “was not,” in the same way, humbling ourselves means that we relate more effectively towards God.
Jesus is humility personified and if we become humble, our hearts will beat together as one with His. Jesus will lead us - His resurrected heartbeat should be dominating our lives as it vibrates through every area of our lives, transforming us and getting us into unity with His mind. His mind is a mind of humility - for “he must increase and I must decrease.” (John 3:30) Humility therefore is the path to death and as Andrew Murray puts it, “humility is the blossom of which death to self is the perfect fruit.” - for death perfects humility. I would like to die to self, just like Enoch.
Therefore “Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” God snatching Enoch has a prophetic implication. Enoch is a type of the Church. Just as Enoch was taken out of the world before the judgment of the flood, the Church will be “caught up” to be “always with the Lord,” (1Thessalonians 4:17) before the coming wrath of God in the great tribulation. However this can be applied in a practical way today, do you want your life to be taken by God? Do I?
We can know eschatological implications through our brains but how much better to live out those implications by experiencing the immanent return of the Lord throughout our lives. My prayer is for my life to be taken by God, to be living a life of expectancy of the rapture, to be living in the spirit of rapture, for my life to be enraptured in God, to be living a life of expectancy of being with Him and thus living fully for Him.
The spirit of rapture is a spirit which is always ascending into heaven. It is a spirit which has fully “tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come” (Hebrews 6:5) and is now living as a heavenly citizen here on earth. We need to ask God for this existence , for this gift, to pray earnestly and to “set our mind on things above , not on things on the earth.” (Colossians 3:2) I need to ask myself what things in the world are limiting me from being enraptured in Christ and change them. May things in the world lose their power over us. I need to realize that God will cause situations in my life to move me into this spirit of rapture. It is the heart of God that his saints have this spirit in them and that is the purpose of persecution and opposition.
God does not want service for Him on the earth to hinder us getting a ‘spirit of rapture,’ for the primary purpose of work on earth is to draw us closer to the Lord. Ministry should be a stepping stone to God. Ministry is not an end in itself but it is an arrow pointing towards God. Ministry should be drawing us closer to God. As Watchman Nee puts it “the child of God should learn to live for the Lord’s service, but even more-so for the Lord’s receiving him.”
“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Each area of Enoch’s life is surrounded by his faith in God. It was His faith that pleased God. “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death and was not found because God had taken him, for before he was taken he had this testimony , that he pleased God, But without faith it is impossible to please Him.” (Hebrew 11:5-6) Faith is the only thing which pleases God, everything which is not of faith is sin, (Romans 14:23) because if you are in the flesh you cannot please God. (Romans 8:8)
Faith surrounded Enoch’s life. Faith enabled him to walk closely to God because faith sees God. Faith in God transformed him into a man of humility and it is only by faith that we can live in the spirit of rapture despite external sufferings. It is by faith that we know afflictions in this life are just for a moment and it is by faith that we can live as a heavenly citizen here on earth.
Faith in God therefore is the lifeblood to enable the infusion of other qualities that God wants to put into our life such as the ‘spirit of rapture’ and the ‘life of humility.’ These qualities will be naturally worked into our lives as we walk with God , focus on Him in every moment of our time and abide in Christ.
My prayer is to like Enoch, walk closer and closer to the Lord and like Enoch become “a not.“ My prayer is like Enoch, to be enraptured in Christ and like Enoch to walk by faith as I live on earth. We get to walk with God everyday and today as we walk with God we will be walking with Him right into eternity. Gently translated, they
Pass out of sight Gone as the morning stars Flee with the night Taken to endless day So may I fade away Into the light