Walking with God
Tor Marius Gauslaa, Lillesand, Norway
The Obituary Notice of a Saint
‘And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him’, Gen. 5. 24.
As a former editor and journalist I sometimes had to write obituary notices. Describing people who had passed away necessitated formulating words to d e p i c t a t r u e b u t p o s i t i v e characterization of the deceased and also a short history of the life now ended and some examples of their achievements.
Our God, as the E d i t o r o f H o l y Scripture, has written many obituary notices of His servants, for our instruction, within its pages. These are not human assessments but divine evaluations! One of them is Enoch. This surely is one of the best obituary notices ever written, 'And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him', Gen. 5. 24.
God has told us his name, Enoch, or Hanokh, meaning 'teaching' and 'initiation'. Enoch, clearly, was a student of God, having been continually taught by the Almighty. It was because of this that now Enoch himself had something to teach and tell his fellow men. He was initiated into the, 'wisdom from above', Jas. 3. 17. This 'education' became reflected in his personality, his whole life. He became a shining model, a testimony, and a living example for all those seeing him and listening to him.
To be closely initiated into God's wisdom and secrets Enoch had to walk close to God and just as God wanted him to walk. Enoch did not run before God nor did he follow far behind Him like a backslider. He walked at the same tempo, keeping the same step as his divine Master and Companion. What a sacred honour for a man to be invited to do so. What a wonderful portrayal of a saint! What an obituary!
If you want to converse and listen to someone while walking, you have to keep close to them. That’s what Enoch did. Just as we are recommended to do in James 4. 8, 'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you', and in Ephesians 2. 10, 'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them'. Remember the two disciples walking from Jerusalem to Emmaus, Luke 24? Symbolically they were leaving the place of testimony and those the Lord had given them to serve with. Similar waywardness increased their depression, making them impotent and fatigued. Then, 'Jesus himself drew near, and went with them', and things changed! They rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together. Burning hearts, set on fire by God Himself through His Holy Spirit. Fire that illuminates, heats and purifies, is what we need to know again today.
Peter followed his Lord afar off, Luke 22. 54, and provided us with another lesson – with the tragic consequences of denial and bitter tears. May God help us to walk, like Enoch, close to Him, singing as we go, 'Just a closer walk with Thee', until our last minute on earth. We don’t know when or how our departure will be. If through death, we can testify like David, 'Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me', Ps. 23. 4, then all will be well!
Through the 'snatching up' of our bodies at His return according to His promise in John 14. 3, confirmed in 1 Thessalonians 4. 16- 17, then what happened to Enoch, will happen to us too. Christ clearly stated, 'Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world', John 17. 24.
So, keep on walking, my sister and my brother, close to God and in His before ordained works, with His light inside you and around you. Walk in His light of life, in His newness of life, in His Spirit, in His truth, be a true Enoch for men and for God.