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Genesis 5:1-32 – Walkin’ WITH God, Part 2
We were originally created and blessed by God. Unfortunately, as a result of Adam’s sin we will die. But there is good news in 5:21-24.
3. We can walk with God (5:21-24).
In 5:21-24, we find a unique man named Enoch who is the one significant exception in this genealogy. Everyone’s death was recorded except for Enoch! Moses writes, “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So, all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
Enoch is the Light amidst the darkness in this account. And the placement of Enoch’s name could not be more intentionally dramatic.
Evil Lamech, the man who worshipped his sword, was number seven in the Cainite genealogy, while here, Enoch, the man who walked with God, is number seven in the Sethite genealogy.
Enoch is pictured as one who did not suffer the fate of Adam (“You shall surely die”) because, unlike the others, he “walked with God.” Enoch is an example of one who found life amid the curse of death. In Enoch the author is able to show that the pronouncement of death is not the last word that need be said about a person’s life. One CAN find life if one “Walks with God!” The phrase “walked with God” is only used of Enoch and Noah. “Walk” is a biblical picture for fellowship and obedience that results in divine blessing. The sense of “walk” (“halak”) in its verbal stem indicates a communion or intimacy with God. The Minor Prophets use this phrase to describe the intimate walk of priests who entered the Holy of Holies to speak directly with the Lord. It describes the closest communion with God—as if walking at His side. Enoch went through life, step by step, in fellowship with God.
I don’t like walks because they’re not that efficient. If you’re trying to get something done quickly, you don’t take a walk. That is why the metaphor of a walk with God is so helpful. When you’re walking with someone, you’re not moving so fast that conversation is difficult. You can enjoy your companion. And then everything else becomes enjoyable. You can look together at the cloud formations, the turning of the leaves in the fall, the sound of the stream that you’re walking by, or whatever else is going on. And so taking long walks with someone is a great picture of intimacy.
The phrase “walked with God” also speaks of unswerving obedience and faithfulness. Hebrews 11:5-6 is a divinely inspired commentary on Genesis 5:22-24.
Heb. 11:5-6 - “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. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who EARNESTLY SEEK Him.”
2 Cor. 5:7 - WALK by FAITH...
The writer of Hebrews touched the hearts of his readers by communicating the concept that faith is the key to perseverance in the furnace of suffering (READ Heb 10:32-39).
And then, after giving a brief definition of faith (Read Heb. 11:1), he cited an impressive list of people who gained God’s approval (READ 11:2) and won spiritual victories by means of faith. Faith enables believers to understand creation (READ 11:3, referring to Gen 1-2).
Abel gained a righteous standing with God by means of faith (READ 11:4, which is a reference to Gen 4).
The next verse (tucked between references to Enoch and Noah, both of whom are said in Genesis to have walked with God, is very significant: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” (11:6).
Another interesting element of Enoch’s faith was that he served God. Enoch did not walk with God in a secluded environment; he was a spokesman for God in the ungodly environment of his day. (Jude 14-15). The Bible doesn’t tell us how long Enoch did this, but from the Genesis and Hebrews passages we can safely say that Enoch served God right up to the day God took him. Enoch lived this intimate and obedient life for 300 years—three centuries! And so, at the age of 365, while still a young man, “he was not, for God took him.”
We don’t know how this happened. He may have been picked up in a chariot like Elijah (2 Kgs 2:11-12) or he may have been beamed up directly by God. Somewhere in the days of his walk with God, God revealed to him He did not wish Enoch to die.
Amidst the endless dying that had gone on for thousands of years, God planned to give a demonstration of His power over death. And Enoch believed God! By faith Enoch was taken up (Heb 11:5).
But notice that Enoch did not always walk with God. The first 65 years of his life were quite another story. Evidently, he reflected for 65 years the same godless attitude as those around him.
You ask, “Well, what started him walking with God then?” And the answer is given to us here. It was the birth of a son, a boy whom he named Methuselah. The Bible says so.
“Enoch walked with God after the birth of Methuselah three hundred years.” So, it was the birth of this baby that started him walking with God. But there must be more to this than simply the fact that he became a father, right? I don’t know, but I do know this... that becoming a father has a profound effect upon us. It makes us more thoughtful, makes us more serious, more realistic in our outlook on life altogether, it changes many things. It evidently changed him.
It’s difficult walking with God in these challenging times, isn’t it? We walk with the world so easily. Kinda like why I don’t like walking, I’d rather be riding my bike. I think going with the world is like riding a bike, it’s so much easier and deceptively captivating than going on a simple walk to me. We get so caught up in OUR OWN life that we forget God. We get busy, have problems, things go wrong, or maybe they are going so good that we forget about him. Just put the bike on cruise control...
In the meantime, as we ride off into the sunset, God is calling us back. He desires to have a deep relationship with us, so that when we do the things we like to do, we see Him in it, give Him glory for it, and include Him in it.
Even though the topic of death is strong in this chapter there is even more emphasis on God’s grace. We see this in the references to life, fertility (sons and daughters), Enoch’s testimony, and other blessings. The finality of death caused by sin, and so powerfully demonstrated in this genealogy, is in fact not so final. Man was not born to die; he was born to live, and that life comes by walking with God. Walking with God is the key to the chains of the curse. “I am the way, the truth and life, no man comes to the father but by me.”
Are you living? Do you have life? Is there purpose to your life? Are you living for a reason other than material things and just existing? Are you drinking the dirty well water this world offers, or are you drinking the life- giving water which Jesus offers?