Walking With God
The text is an beautiful passage sounding more like a fascinating verses of a song, or prose, than an actual historical fact regarding a man who lived in this world as you and I.
"Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him".
I like what James stated regarding Elijah, the prophet of old, “a man of like passions as we are” James 5:17. Enoch was a man of like passions as you and me.
There are 10 generations from Adam to Noah. Seven men in this list, lived to be over 900 yrs. Enoch was the father of Methuselah who lived longer than any other man of record (969 years Genesis 5:27). Yet after giving the great age of each old Patriarchs the writer states: "And he died." Death is the common lot of humanity. Regardless of who we are or what our station in life may be; death marks the end of each of us.
Note Genesis chapter 5:5; 8; 11; 14; 17; 20 reading the statements “and he died.” With monotonous regularity the inspired writer chronicle the achievements of those who have distinguished themselves in God's service in time past only to conclude with the observation "and he died." The Hebrew writer reminds us of our common lot in life Hebrews 9:27
"It is appointed unto man once to die, and then the judgment."
God stated it to Adam and Eve this way: Genesis 3:19
19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.
As we continue to read, Genesis chapter 5 Enoch is introduced and the story begins just as do the others Genesis 5:21-24
“And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: 22and Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: 23and all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: 24and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”.
Just as we think the story of Enoch will continue as those preceding it, there is this fresh breath from heaven and these melodious tones sound out, "And Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him". Genesis 5:24. Then the story goes on again in the same old refrain.
We are prone to measure the greatness of a man by the degree to which he has been able to attract attention to himself. Some shine in their abilities as great leaders, and the conquests of kingdoms, others have illuminated the world by their genius. The deeds of these have been loudly sounded by the trumpet of fame and fortune.
But the history of Enoch is contained in but 10 verses in the Sacred Volume. Seven in Old Testament passages and three New Testament verses. But more is said in praise of this man of God in the few short words of our text, than is said of all of them. A greater character is given him in here by God , than all the words written in the annals of men of this worlds heroes
There are many today obsessed with the idea of drawing attention to themselves, and would go to extremes to direct attention to themselves, believing that greatness is measured by the publicity and notoriety they might enjoy. History outside of the Bible is unacquainted with the man Enoch, and yet.... he stands out as one of the most remarkable men of whom sacred history speaks,
A man whom God honored as none other, save Elijah the prophet. Moses, although buried by the "Almighty" Himself, was not given this honor, Of Abraham, the great patriarch and friend of God, these words were not spoken, only of Enoch do we read the words.
24”And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him”. Genesis 5:24
Enoch’s greatness did not come from military might, he was not a political figure, nothing is said of his scholastic abilities. It is quite likely his greatness did not win him a hearty commendation from his contemporaries. Enoch's greatness was of the kind and character that he pleased God: We are told in: Hebrews 11:5
"that before his translation he had been this testimony that he had been well pleasing to God" .You see: "Enoch walked with God," and God so enjoyed his society, was so pleased with this man that He took Him.
Realizing that Romans 15:4, teaches:
“4For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
There are some lessons II would like to emphasize regarding this story.... namely
1st "What It Means To Walk With God"
2ndly: "Some Consequences Of Walking With God"
and Lastly: "How May I Have Such A Walk Today".
What does it mean to walk with God? Bible writers use various prepositions
to indicate the different relationships we sustain to our God – In
Genesis 17:1 we read "walk before me and be thou perfect."
To walk before God is to be ever before His eyes, subject to His inspection.
Again (Deut 13:4). the children of
But what does it mean to walk with God? The question is a good one and deserves a simple answer: This is an interesting Hebrew word, reflective in its meaning, and implies that Enoch set himself out to walk, He purposed to walk with God. Enoch was a friend of God, He found pleasure in God's company, his life was such that he was traveling the same direction with God. He was in agreement with God (Amos 3;3). Two cannot walk together except they be agreed.
Hence, to walk with God is to speak with him often as with no other, to allow God to speak with me thru His Holy Word. To live in the real, constant, conscious companionship of God.
We read that Enoch walked with God, not on rare occasions of spiritual exaltation, as some of have experienced, but for 300 years after the birth of Methuselah (Gen 6:22). It is then possible for us to have this consciousness, of God, this nearness, this fellowship, to talk with him as with no earthly friend, and to hear Him speak through the Holy Word, to commune with Him in a silence that is far more meaningful than any words could be. I would gladly linger here, but length of lesson, bids me go on to the next point.
Why walk with God? What consequences or benefits are derived by such a walk? Note with me some results of walking with God. The first result of walking with God, it brings great joy:
There is no greater joy than that which comes from being in the right companionship. Who would not rather live in a hut with congenial companions than in a palace with disagreeable associates? Who would not rather live on a bleak and barren isle among real Christians, than live in the fairest lands, among thieves, liars, murders, drunkards etc? The Proverb writer stated it this way: Prov. 21:9
"It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a woman of contentions in a wide house."
Can you not remember some very happy hour in your life, when you walked and talked with an earthly companion whom you loved as no other, perhaps while falling in love? You talked, communed, or perhaps sometimes just sat in silent. These are wonderful times, but only faintly suggestive of the joy and that comes from walking with God. He is an infinitely dearer, and better companion than any earthly one could be.
How the homely details of everyday life are transfigured if we have the constant fellowship of God in them. And so: Walking with God brings joy, because of the proper fellowship. Psalms 16:11 "In thy presence, is fullness of joy"
The 2nd result of walking with God is spiritual enlightenment. Communion with God, rather than scholarship opens to us the mind and thoughts of God. There is no hint that Enoch was a man of letters, was not a higher critic, yet this plain man by walking with God, talking with God got such an insight into the purposes of God as no other man of his time had.
In the epistle of Jude the 14th and 15th verses, we learn that a thousand years before the flood, Enoch got hold of the great truth of Christ's 2nd Coming. Hear the verses:
“14And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, 15To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him”.
Today my friend, some old washerwoman, or some humble servant, who walks and talks with God, who allows God to talk to them through the Holy Word, may know more of the mind of God, than the professor in our Christian colleges. The important question may not be then what do the scholars say. How much Greek does that boy know, how much Hebrew? But rather does he or she walk daily with God? This is the great condition of spiritual insight wisdom and understanding
I knew a man, not educated by world standards, but it is such a pleasure to hear him talk about the Lord. He would not have thought of himself as a preacher but was very effective with people, had such a knowledge of scripture, and loved talking about things pertaining to eternity, you just knew he was a man who walked with God daily, through prayer and meditation in his daily studies. Walking with God brings spiritual enlightenment, it was said of the disciples, that the Elders and Priests took note that they had been with Jesus.
A 3rd result of walking with God is purity of heart and life: Nothing else is so cleansing as the consciousness of God's abiding presence. Things that we have long tolerated become intolerable when we bring them into the light of the presence of the Holy God. Things do we would normally do in darkness, we would not for a moment think of doing if we realized that God was right by our side. Many deeds would be left undone, many thoughts and fancies we now cherish would be speedily banished. You see, there are certain things we do in the absence of holy friends that we would not do in their presence.
But God is always present, whether we know it or not. He knows our thoughts, our deeds, and if we walk in the consciousness of His presence, if we walk with God, our lives and hearts will speedily whiten. Jesus says: Blessed are the pure in heart for they Shall see God. (Matt. 5:8)
The 4TH result of walking with God, closely akin, it that of “beauty of character”. We become like those with whom we habitually associate. How like parents, children become. How many mothers and fathers have been startled by seeing their own imperfections in their children. Husband and wife grow strangely like one another.
Thus those who associates with God becomes more like God. If we walk with God more and more His beauty will reflect in our own lives. Moses' very face shone as he came down from the 40 days and nights of converse with God. So will our whole life shine and glow with a new beauty as we walk habitually with God.
The 5TH- result of walking with God will be eminent usefulness.- Our lives may be quiet and even obscure. It may be impossible for us to point to what men call great achievement. But the highest usefulness lies not in such things but rather in the silent, almost unnoticed but powerful influence of a holy life.
Enoch has wrought out immeasurably more good
for man than has Nebuchadnezzar,
who built the great structures of
Today the man or woman, no matter how humble or obscure, who walks with God is accomplishing more for God than Morse with his telegraph, or Edison with all of his electrical discoveries, or the man who conceived the idea of computers. And one humble servant, who helps some poor troubled soul find Christ has accomplished more good, than all the Statesmen in Washington, or every inventor who has ever lived to walk on the face of God’s earth.
I remember hearing of a meeting that took
But there is a still better result than all this from walking with God: Namely We Please God. We read in the book of Hebrews a wonderful testimony concerning Enoch. Heb11:5
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony that he pleased God.
This is more than to be useful. God is pleased, He wants us to walk with Him, He is well pleased when we do. It is quite possible for us to get so caught up, so occupied, with things, even for God, that we forget to walk with God, to talk to Him, have Him talk to us thru the Holy Divine word.
Jesus on occasions would withdraw from the crowds, even His very elect disciples to be alone with His Father. On one occasion, Jesus was in the home of Mary and Martha, Martha, you remember was taken up with her service for Him, Mary was taken up with the Lord Himself, and he testified that Mary had chosen the better part.
Finally and of most importance, is this result of walking with God ... Namely it brings eternal companionship. You see, Enoch walked with God: and was not, for God took him. The man who walks on earth with God, will one day walk with Him forever. Jesus said: John 12:26
If any man serve me, let him follow me, and where I am there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honor.
Beloved, if we do not walk with God on earth now, we will not walk with Him in heaven. If we do not care to cultivate His friendship, His companionship here and now, we may be sure that He will not take us to be in His eternal abode. Isn't it true, we select those with whom we have developed friendship, comradeship, when we think of doing something nice? All of the results we've just discussed, come from walking with God, Do we not all then long to walk with God? And so to come face to face with the great practical question:
How may I enter into such a walk with God? What must I do to enter this joyous blessed walk with God? This question may plainly and simply be answered Hebrews 11:1-4
“1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good report. 3Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. 4By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh”.
Hebrews 11:5 we've noticed already, it states plainly:
By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death;
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”.
So we must have faith, John 1:12, Gal.3:26,27.. Next we also must obey God. Jesus said:
"If a man love me, he will keep my word: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John 14:23
Obedience to God, absolute surrender to His will, is necessary if we are to walk with Him. If we would walk with God, we must cultivate the thought of His Divine presence. He is saying to each of us today, "Come, walk with me." If we accept this wonderful invitation, He will lead and some day it will be true of us as was of Enoch God Took Him
Ron Cope Minister churches of Christ