Genealogies in the Bible can be boring. But, I’m one of those people that believes every single word God has placed in the Bible is important. He has a purpose for those long lists of people. It is easy to scan over them or skip them completely. But, then, along comes some simple words like “Enoch walked faithfully with God.” Wait a minute….that’s new! Those words hadn’t been used before.
In Genesis 5, we are given the descendants of Seth. A list of names, how old they were when a certain son was born, how many more years they lived, and then how old they were when they died–“Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.”
However, in verse 22, we’re told Enoch walked faithfully with God. “After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.”
What did Enoch do that caused those four extra words to be used–“walked faithfully with God”?
We aren’t given any specifics at this point. But in several New Testament passages we learn just a little more about Enoch. In Jude, it looks like Enoch may have been a prophet or teacher: “14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’ ”
If he was a prophet, he most certainly had to be close to God and walking faithfully with Him to know the messages to pass on to the people. In the footnote to verse 15, the NIV attributes it to the First Book of Enoch. That tells me he said or taught enough things for them to be recorded. Was Enoch one of the first priests? Even before the priesthood was set up by God? Before the temple of the Lord was established?
Then in verse 24, we are told “Enoch walked faithfully with God;then he was no more, because God took him away.” Hold on….Enoch didn’t die? Everyone else in Genesis 5 died.
Why did God take Enoch away? Why did he not have to die?
Hebrews 11:5 gives a little more information: “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.
It says that Enoch “pleased God.” How wonderful it must be to have immortal words written about you that say you “pleased God.” Whatever Enoch did, whatever position he may have held, he pleased God. That above all else is what is important. He did not have to taste the sting of death because he pleased God.
We, too, do not have to taste the sting of death if we have accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)
God may not take us from this life without experiencing death first. But, He will free us from having to live in death for eternity. The death of being separated from Him forever. And that, over all, should cause us to rejoice and live our lives so that it can be said of us “she pleased God.”
Those are my thoughts for today.