Enoch walked with God; then he was no more,
because God took him away.
One of the subjects that has occupied my interest in terms of knowing Christ is that of what it means to walk with God. Although this is addressed numerous times and in various ways in the scriptures, the above passage is the most thought provoking. The picture we are given in Genesis 5 is the first example in scripture of one who “walked with God”, since the fall of the human race into sin. It stands in marked contrast to the world at that time, characterized by the Lord in Genesis 6:5: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In the midst of that decaying and wicked culture, this one man is singled out as one who “walked with God.” What can we learn from this man about walking with God that will affect our lives in the midst of our culture?
We see references to Enoch on three occasions in scripture. In Genesis 5 it is stated that he “walked with God, then he was no more, because God took him away.” We read in Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch…was commended as one who pleased God.” In Jude 14 it relates that “Enoch…prophesied… the Lord is coming….to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” Enoch’s emphasis on the judgment given to the ungodly indicates that the goal of his walk by faith was one that would lead to Godliness, which stood in opposition to all he was around in this world. Taking one of the words from each of these three references for further analysis, let us look at the word “walk” in Genesis, the word “faith” in Hebrews 11, and the word “Godliness” as it stands in contrast to the ungodliness referred to in Jude.
In Amos 3:3 it says “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” (KJV) Enoch was in agreement with God, and God with Enoch. To walk also implies that they were walking in the same direction, and at the same speed. It requires availability to one another and results in fellowship with one another. This walk was energized by faith. It was this faith that commended him as one who pleased God in Hebrews 11.
Faith is contrasted to sight in II Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (KJV) Enoch did not walk by sight. He walked by faith. Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing. Faith looks beyond sight. Sight can only substantiate that which can be appreciated by a physical sense. Hebrews 11:1 states: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for.”(KJV) A more accurate rendering of the word translated as substance may be the word “substantiating.” Faith, then, “substantiates” things hoped for. It verifies their existence. As our hearing verifies the noise of a train, or our sense of smell verifies perfume, so faith verifies or “substantiates” that which no physical sense can do. The Kingdom of God, and our walk with Him in His Kingdom is one of faith.
A walk with God by faith is a walk which stands opposed to ungodliness and will in itself bring judgment upon the ungodly. Who are the ungodly? The ungodly are those who live without reference to God. They do not consider God as having any thing to do with the course of their lives; their use of time, resources or their daily decisions. They are content to live without Him. As a result, all their ways are ungodly, their actions are ungodly, and their words are ungodly. They may possess high moral standards, or they may be criminals in our jails. They may live in palaces, or be homeless. They may be highly regarded as leaders in our world or common place laborers. Enoch saw all this in his day and his walk with God by faith stood in contrast to ungodliness. His walk was one towards increasing Godliness. It was a walk that brought all aspects of his life under the dominion of God. As the ungodly declared their independence from God, Enoch was declaring his dependence upon God. It was a walk which depended upon God for His ways, His words, and His deeds to be manifested in Enoch’s life.
And what was the result of that walk? Genesis says that “God took him away.” I love the way Ray Stedman has described this. He related that the two were out walking as they did every day. One day they walked a longer time than usual. The Lord turned to Enoch and said, “Enoch, we have walked a long time today. We are closer to where I live than where you live. Why don’t your come home and spend the night with me?” And Enoch did.
Enoch’s life reminds me that it is still possible to walk closely with God in the midst of an ungodly world. It also challenges me to live each day in such a way that I am closer to where God lives at the end of the day than where I was at the start of the day, for someday, I will hear His voice, saying something like this: “Richard, we have walked a long time together. Why don’t you come home and spend eternity with me?” And I will.
May our Lord encourage your hearts in your daily walk with Him.
In Christ , Richard Spann