Genesis 5: 21-24
Some people called the fifth chapter of Genesis "a desert of death". Because it refers to death in Genesis 5, 9, 15, 1, 14, 17, and 20. You can see caskets and the graves of almost everyone there. You can imagine the pain of their widows who would have been crying behind the people who left this land dead. You can feel the vanity of life in the odor of death that continues to emerge from this chapter.
But in the middle of this desert of death there was a lily of life, just a small flower, Enoch. Surprisingly, however, today's text does not adequately describe Enoch. In fact we find more verses about Enoch in the New Testament. The Old Testament testifies with 51 words about Enoch, but the New Testament speaks with 94 words.
We read about Enoch three times in Genesis, one in Hebrew, and three times in Jude. Genesis 5:24 says simply. "Enoch walked with God." He has always taken personal walks with God.
Enoch was, in a word, a man of eternal life. But he never crossed the Red Sea like Moses. He never fought and broke the giant like David. He did not wrestle with an angel all night long like Jacob. He was never swallowed by a great fish like Jonah. He does not walk on water like Jesus. He never wrote a Bible in one verse. The only information we hear about this person is Genesis 5:24.
"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; For God took him."
He lived a simple life organized in only four words, but God brought him into the Hall of Fame of the Heavens.
When we evaluate the life of a person in today's text, we will realize that it is not a question of how much to say about the person, but if only a few words can clearly explain the person. We can speak a lot about a person in just a few words.
For example, we say that David is "a man after God's own heart." We hear that Abraham is "a friend of God." Elijah was nicknamed "the man of God." However, It is not a bigger reputation than "Enoch," which is called "walked with God"
There are only two people in the Old Testament who went to heaven without dying. The other one is Elijah. Today, through Enoch's life, we learn great truths about our lives in this world and our future lives.
I. You can also enjoy intimate fellowship with God.
Verse 22 says very simply, "And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters."
Everyone can walk with God, but not everyone. In fact, most people do not. Literally, did you know that you can walk with God?
I read about an Indian missionary who led many people to Jesus. One day a new Christian approached him and said,
"I have been watching you very closely and have seen how you walk with God and how you talk with God."
He kept saying that. "So I want to ask you, did God like it?"
The missionary answered the question like this: "God is not pleased with me at all, but God always feels intimacy with me."
Likewise I ask you. How much do you walk with God every day now? You will meet God as much as you seek.
God Himself said in Jeremiah 29:13, "And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall seek me for all your heart."
I expect you to note that Enoch has been with God. God did not walk with Enoch. God did not go the way of Enoch. Enoch was on the way of God. If you walk with God, you will follow His instructions. He does not go to you. In order to walk with God, we must concentrate on doing God's will. God will never follow our instructions. We must walk in Him.
He also walked with God. It means that he did not go ahead of God and did not follow God. He stood beside God and accompanied him. This is literally meant to say that Enoch accompanied God.
II. You can also exercise intense faith with God.
Hebrews 11: 5 is the New Testament commentary on the Enoch story.
"By faith Enoch is translated as" And he was pleased, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God."
Enoch was a man of faith. So he was able to leave his testimony.
"Before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." (Hebrews 11: 5)
What was his faith in pleasing God? As I have already said, he obeyed God's will.
Do you want to please God? If you please God, it does not matter who you make you feel bad about. But if you do not please God, it does not matter who you please. If you want to please God, you will believe in God. If you believe in God, you will obey God. That is why Enoch pleased God.
If God said "jump," Enoch would say, "How much do I want to go up?"
When God said, "Shout," Enoch would say, "How much do I cry out loud?"
When God says "Go," Enoch would say, "How fast will I go?"
Enoch not only obeyed God's will but also believed in God's Word. Verse 21 looks like a verse without much meaning. But it really speaks a lot. And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah. Enoch leaves a son named Methuselah with a fascinating name.
In the Bible the name was very special and very important. Enoch, who named Methuselah, shows how strong his faith was.
The name Methuselah means "when he is dead, it will come or it will be sent." This was a prophecy of the Flood that will come to earth in the future. Enoch knew from the very moment Methuselah was born that God's judgment is under way.
But Enoch knew exactly that God's judgment would not happen as long as Methuselah was alive. But the moment Methuselah died, God immediately began the flood judgment. This is an amazing story.
In Genesis 5:25 we learn the fact that Methuselah lived an hundred eighty and seven years, and begat Lamech.
And in verse 28 and verse 29, "And Lamech lived an hundred eighty and two years, and begat a son. And he called his name Noah."
When you add up 187 and the 182 you get 369, so Methuselah was 369 years old when his grandson, Noah, was born.
When did the flood come? Genesis 7:11 says that the flood was at Noah's 600th year of age. Adding 600 to 369 results in 969. How many years did Methuselah have lived according to Genesis 5:27?
When Methuselah had his last breath, God closed the ark and sent a flood. Methuselah was a time bomb of the Flood Judgment.
Methuselah was God's time. When he died, the Flood came. The reason is interesting because Methuselah was the person who lived the longest in 969 years. Why did he live so long? Because he represented patience and God's mercy. God has given the world enough time to repent for almost a thousand years, that He wants to save all mankind.
Sometimes, I feel wonder why Jesus' second coming is delayed. Why does not he come back and set this world upright? And how does God endure all the sin, injustice, wickedness, and rebellion that we see in the world today?
It is not because God is insensitive. It is not because God does not hate sin. It is not because God is holy. That is why God endures until everyone is saved.
In 2 Peter 3: 9 we learn this truth. "The Lord is not slack about his promise, as some men count slackness; But is not long enough for us-ward, not willing that to perish, but that should come to repentance."
Enoch had incredible intense faith when he saw his son Methuselah. Today you and I can trust God in the same way as Enoch.
If you have a chance to go to the US Capitol you must stop by the dome. On the inside of the dome is the following inscription.
"One Divine Far-Off Event Toward Which All Creation Moves," This is clearly an expression of the Second Coming of Jesus. The founders of the United States were convinced of Jesus' return and carved it into the Capitol.
III. You can experience a wonderful future with God like Enoch.
"And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters." (5:22)
Now you can imagine Enoch, who faithfully accompanies God every day, every week, every month, every year, every century. One day God suddenly took him alive. What is its lesson? He was the first raptured saint of the Old Testament.
He was chosen as the first model of the rapture you and I will experience when Jesus returns to this planet. This event will happen to all Christians someday.
The biggest issue with Enoch is not that he was raptured, but where he went.
He has been with the Lord forever.
It does not matter how you go through the grave or break through the clouds today. No matter whether you die before Jesus returns, or Jesus comes before you die, God will take you and will eternally live with you.
I do not think that Enoch was the first preacher of the Second Coming, either accidental or coincidental. He was raptured without dying. Enoch did not walk in the valley of death. He flew over it. God took him alive.
Enoch represents the last Christian generation to be rescued from death. His preaching was the second coming of Jesus Christ. That was his entire message.
Did you know that you can talk about the future with three propositions?
It is found in 1 Thess 4:16.
"For the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:"
This is a picture of the Second Coming of Jesus. Among them is the resurrection of the saved.
"And the dead in Christ shall rise first .."
Then there will be a rapture of the saints.
It is verse 17: "Then we will be able to live together in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air."
Today we listened to Enoch's faith. He lived thousands of years ago. But the day he lived was not much different from the day we lived. Enoch lived in the era just before the flood.
Enoch walked with God. He did not die. "Enoch followed him because he believed in God, and every day he walked with God and became acquainted with him, and he started traveling with God by trusting in God, and eventually arrived at his destination with God God and Enoch walked together for eternity.
"Enoch walked with God, and when he came to him, there was no shock, no break, no interruption ... Death simply took him into God's nearer presence."
The book of Hebrew reminds us: "But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he will cometh to God, and he will believe in him, and that is a rewarder of them." (Hebrews 11: 6)
In the life of Enoch and Abraham we find that life is a lot of risk in the journey. But this trip has life and accomplishment.
"By faith Noah, being warned of God, things moved as fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house." (Hebrews 11: 7)
People ridicule Noah, who builds a ship in a dry land. But they could not stop Noah's construction. Noah trusted the will of God. It was faith. By faith Noah was saved, and his family was with him to the end.
Noah's life was one continued and concentrated preparation for which God said would come.
"Noah's life was a continual preparation for believing and obeying God's judgment and Jesus' return, which w proclaimed by his great-grandfather Enoch, prophesied through his grandfather Methuselah"
Enoch-Methuselah-Lamech-Noah, I pray that these four generations of beautiful walking with God will be your life today.