Enoch: the Man who Walked with God

B. Charles, Consett

Above all else, Enoch is the man who walked with God. Only of one other is this expression used, Noah, but just once, whereas it is recorded of Enoch twice, Cen. 5. 22, 24.

In order to grasp the significance of this, we need first of all to look at Enoch in his historical context. What may not be realised is that when Enoch was born, Adam was still alive, and in fact had over 300 years yet to live being just 622! Reading through Genesis 5 we discover that at the time of Enoch's 'translation' only Adam had died of those people who are mentioned. Enoch's grandson, Lamech, was 60 years of age when Adam died. Adam was able to impart his experience in the Garden of Eden to eight generations.

The fact that no other had died, in the list of names in Genesis 5, when Enoch was taken to heaven, with the exception of Adam, provides us with this truth: the first man, Adam-to dust; the second man, Enoch-to heaven.

Judgement fell on Adam, and will fall on all his posterity-note the refrain, Gen. 5, 'and he died'-but Enoch's rapture shows God's original purpose for man has not been abrogated and this must have strengthened the faith of the believers, see Heb. 11. 13-16.

If we then consider the flood, Gen. 7. 11, we observe that it occurs in the very year of Enoch's son Methuselah’s death. Jude's letter tells us that Enoch prophesied of coming judgement. When was this revealed to him? Genesis 5. 21, 22 suggest strongly that it was when his son was born. Thus we can see Enoch's conversion.

Enoch's conversion was followed by 300 years of communion on earth: 'he walked with God'. This walk has both positive and negative features. Positively, we have a delightful picture of the God of creation having fellowship with an individual on earth; Enoch has a kinship at heart with his God. What a tremendous privilege for Enoch! Negatively, we see Enoch apart from the world. He is the blessed man of Psalm 1; walking apart from the ungodly of Genesis 4. When we look at Cain's descendents, we see them building a city whose builder and maker is not God, involved in farming, industry, entertainment, marriage, Gen. 4. 17-22-all legitimate things, but God is excluded. They are living for this world only; the earth is the sum total of their horizons. Enoch's contemporary, Lamech, also being the seventh from Adam, is a man of revenge, violence and murder. Enoch is living in an age where a defiant attitude to God, a blatant disregard of His laws, self-assertion, are beginning to reveal themselves-they will come to full expression in the days of Noah: Gen. 6. 5, 11, 12. It is in this kind of situation that Enoch walked with God. Negatively, he walks not in the ways of the ungodly; positively he walks with God. He is not of this world, but looks for that to come; and whilst on earth finds a home for his soul in the heart of God, Psa. 90. 1,

One chief lesson for us in the life of this man is that it is quite possible in the midst of exceptional wickedness and a scoffing world to live a life pleasing to God. He is commended by God, Heb. 11. 5, 'he had this testimony, that he pleased God'.

The consummation of his earthly life comes early, for he is only 365 years of age when it happens, 'he was not, for God took him'. What he had looked for is realised-and his portion is a continuation of what he had enjoyed here: fellowship with God.

Finally, his life and rapture afford a striking typical illustration of that heavenly company, the church, one day to be raptured. Enoch was raptured before the judgement fell when God flooded the earth; so the church will be raptured before the judgement yet to fall on this earth. (Noah goes through the judgement; as will Israel in days yet future). There were no signs for Enoch-so also for us. Our gaze is not earthward, looking for signs, but heavenward, 1 Thess. 1.10; Phil. 3.20.

Fret not Psa. 37. 1. Forget not Psa. 103. 2.
Let not John 14. 1. Set not Col. 3. 2.

J. MITCHELL