This week in my quiet time, i have been reading the short epistle of Jude. It’s only one chapter and only contains twenty-five verses. i think i have too frequently breezed through it in the past. But this time the Lord told me to slow down and walk with His servant Enoch. In Jude 14-15, we read “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness….”
That got me to thinking about Enoch. There are only two people of whom i am aware who never experienced death. One was Elijah, and we read that he was taken up into heaven by a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11). The other was Enoch, and apparently, at one moment, he “was” and then, in the next moment, he “was not” because “God took him” (Genesis 5:24). i have often thought that if i could be anyone in the Bible, i’d like to be Enoch. Not because he didn’t pass through death (though that would be an added benefit), but because of the walk he had with God. When i picture Enoch’s walk with God, i don’t picture him as struggling or striving in that walk. i picture him as walking peacefully and contentedly in stride with his Creator. What was his secret? How did he find that stride?
Enoch was the seventh generation of the patriarchs from Adam in the line of Seth, and he was the father of Methuselah and the great-grandfather of Noah. Only five short verses are used in the Old Testament to tell his story (Genesis 5:18, 21-24):
· he was born (the son of Jared),
· he had a son (Methuselah), as well as other unnamed sons and daughters,
· he walked with God, and
· he no longer was, because God took him.
His eulogy – if there had been one – would have been very short. There isn’t a long list of his accomplishments. We don’t read about all that he built, or the battles he fought and won. We don’t read about his great orations or the books that he wrote. We don’t read about the wealth he amassed or the inventions he discovered. His life doesn’t appear to have been defined by all the busyness and activity that ours most often is. What we read is that “he walked with God”. His life wasn’t about him – it was all about the One with whom he walked. The writer of Hebrews even affirms that his walk was a walk of faith by including him in the “honor roll” of faith (Hebrews 11:5-6). As a matter of fact, it is Enoch that is being commended in that oft-quoted verse “without faith it is impossible to please God…” (Hebrews 11:6).
Imagine having a walk with God like that! He never had to ask God what He wanted him to do or “which door to walk through”. All he needed to do was stay close and walk right there beside the Father. When the Father turned, he turned. When the Father stopped, he stopped. When the Father went, he went. He kept his eyes on the Father. And because he did, he was commended for having pleased God.
We make things so complicated. We try so hard. Enoch didn’t have to work to walk with God. He didn’t earn the privilege. He walked with God by His grace. It wasn’t Enoch’s efforts that caused him to be commended, it was his faithfulness to simply walk with God.
i am mindful that Enoch is probably the best picture we are given in the Bible of how we as followers of Christ are to walk with Him. By His grace, the Father has made the way for us to walk with the Son. It’s not about all that we are doing. He didn’t create us to strive. He created us to walk with Him. Wherever He goes, we are to go. Wherever He turns, we are to turn. Wherever He stops, we are to stop. And one day, He’s coming back for His followers (the church), and those who are still alive at that moment “will be”, and in the next moment, like Enoch, “will no longer be” (1 Thessalonians 4:17). We will be caught up together with Christ (raptured). Not because of what we accomplished, but because of the One with whom we are walking.
Then one day soon after that, Jesus will return with His church (“the ten thousands”) to judge the earth. Those two verses in Jude tell us that Enoch prophesied of that return over 5,000 years ago. That was the earliest prophecy of Jesus’ second coming. How could he possibly have known? Because he walked with God, and as he did, God spoke, and Enoch listened. He heard because he was walking with God. How many things have i missed hearing because i was so busy striving that i failed to stride with God?
All of us are walking through a unique place today. We’re walking through the challenges, difficulties, busyness and unknown of life. Most of us are just trying to keep our heads above water. Allow me to suggest that we take a lesson from Enoch, and make sure that we’re not allowing any of that to keep us from walking with God. Rather, that we remember that He created us to walk with Him through whatever those challenges or circumstances are – in His stride. And as we do, we’ll end up right where we’re supposed to be – right where He intends for us to be – just like Enoch!