Rev. Hanko is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches.
And Enoch walked with God: and he was not, for God took him.
Enoch walked with God. And he was not.
This is likely the shortest, yet the most notable biography that was ever written. What better eulogy could be offered?
Enoch was not. After he had departed, his family likely thought back on his life and said, My husband, or my father, or my grandfather lived in close fellowship with God. It may even be that his friends and acquaintances said of him that he lived a godly life. His enemies may have admitted the same.
But what is far more important is the fact that God says this of His servant Enoch. And not only does God say this of him, He has also recorded it in the infallible Scriptures for our benefit and instruction.
We rarely think of Enoch as living a normal life like ours. But he also had been conceived and born in sin. As a sinner he was incapable of any good and inclined to all evil, just as you and I. He also needed the daily forgiveness of his sins, justification, and cleansing from sin.
Yet he was a child of God, and by the grace of God the chief characteristic of his life was that he lived in intimate fellowship with the living God, reflecting the blessed covenant life within the divine Trinity. And God informs us of this.
Enoch walked with God.
I like to think of Enoch as being like a small lad, looking up with admiration to his strong, manly daddy. No father can quite compare with his father. Enoch looked to God with worshipful admiration, for He is God and He alone, exalted far above all that is creature, the Most High, the Holy One of His people, the God of all grace, ever blessed, ever adorable! The longer he walked with God the better he knew and adored Him as God above all, blessed forever!
God had taken Enoch’s hand in His, and Enoch gripped firmly that strong hand with his puny little hand. Strength flowed forth from that mighty arm of the Most High into the very being of His child, His friend. It was in God’s compassion and love that He had reached out to Enoch, had drawn him to Him, pressed him to His heart in loving kindness, and taught him to love Him and be devoted to Him.
There was that bond of perfection, the bond of love between God as sovereign Friend and Enoch as His friend-servant. God had spread His love into His servant’s heart, whereby he grew in true knowledge of God, was devoted to Him, and served Him in love. They were drawn to each other in covenant fellowship.
Enoch felt dependent, very dependent, upon his Father. Actually he would never know how dependent he really was. For this was more than a human father-son relationship. This was the eternal God, the Creator and Sustainer of the whole universe, giving life and breath and being to one of His many creatures. This was the heavenly Father who had chosen him individually, even as He chooses each of His children in sovereign love and wisdom to have a place among the assembly of the elect forever.
In the providence of God Enoch had his own place and would serve his own purpose here on earth, even as every one of us. Therefore he could say with the psalmist: “I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory” (Ps. 73:23, 24).
Never would he venture forth alone. When dangers threatened, Enoch pressed a bit closer to God, took a still firmer grip of His hand, and rested assured that nothing could harm him. With the psalmist he could sing: “When troubles round me swell, when fears and dangers throng, securely I will dwell in His pavilion strong. Within the covert of His tent He hides me till the storm is spent.”
This son of Jared and father of Methuselah was certain that not a hair could fall from his head apart from his Father’s will. He knew that even this “fear and danger,” these swelling troubles, were sent upon him from the hand of his Almighty Provider to teach him to rely more fully upon Him.
It was not as if they walked together in silence. God spoke as a Father to His son by His indwelling Spirit. Since Enoch was a prophet, God also likely spoke directly to him, revealing the things still to come. And there was also a communion of saints in some form of public worship (Gen. 4:26b).
Even as God has opened a channel of communication for us to the throne of grace, more wonderful and more efficient than the modern e-mail, so also Enoch could pour out his soul in his great need, in worship and in thanksgiving, assured that he was heard and would surely be blessed. God was for him, nothing could be against him.
It may be said of this son of the Most High God that he walked, talked, and even acted like his Father. He was eager to know Him ever more intimately. He had in his heart the testimony that he pleased Him (Heb. 11:6). He strove for a more holy life, like Father’s. In one word, he was an imitator of God as His dear child (Eph. 5:1).
Enoch lived in an evil time, not too different from the time in which we now live.
He is referred to as “the seventh after Adam.” In his day Lamech and his sons lived upon the earth, by whom we learn to know something of the city that Cain built and the life of the world of that evil day.
Lamech was an adulterer who despised the holy bond of marriage by taking to himself two wives. Judging by their names, Adah “the pretty one,” and Zillah “the lustful one,” we obtain an accurate picture of the carnality of the world of that day.
Lamech, who boasts of his prowess and his cold-blooded murders, and his wicked sons were prime examples of their time. Jabal brought his fortunes to the city. Jubal supplied the music that gave expression to their sinful lusts and debauchery. Tubal-cain introduced tools and weapons of metal.
This was but representative of the thousands, and perhaps millions, who lived in that day. The world grew and prospered. The church was small and despised, persecuted by a world that hated and tried to destroy her. True, Adam was still living, and so were his spiritual descendants, but they were like pilgrims and strangers, living their antithetical life as a testimony against the world round about them.
By the grace of God and with the courage that his nearness to God gave him, Enoch boldly testified against that whole wicked world, saying: “The Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon 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” (Jude 14, 15).
We cannot help but pause here a moment to reflect on the fact that there is a marked similarity between Enoch’s time and ours. The New Testament Scriptures speak of the wicked of the last days as being characterized by ungodliness. This pre-diluvian prophet characterized the world of his day with the same term. Enoch spoke of the coming of the Lord with ten thousands of His saints to punish ungodly sinners for their ungodly deeds and hard speeches. This sounds very much like the promise and the expectation that we cherish in our day.
This prophecy of “the seventh after Adam” was also fulfilled in the destruction of the first world by the flood, which is a prefiguration of the day of the Lord that “will come as a thief in the night? in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the element shall melt with fervent heat., the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up…. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (II Pet. 3:10, 13).
And he was not, for God took him.
His enemies sought Enoch, but God embraced him, saying, “You shall not touch my child.” The enemy had grown weary of his constant ranting and raving, his non-sensical talk of the judgment of a living God. While their hearts condemned them, they silenced the voice of conscience by striving to get rid of him. They would kill him with a sword and thereby give warning to any others, so that every voice of God would be silenced!
But Enoch was not, for God translated him. In a moment of time he was snatched from this earth and entered into glory, even without tasting the anguish of death.
The fact that God took up the cause of His friend was just another testimony to the world of wickedness that they would certainly go down in defeat before the face of the one, only, true God. This was for the saints of that day, and is likewise also for us, an encouragement and incentive to be faithful unto death, for the crown of righteousness awaits us. More than conquerors are we!
And for the saints who enter heaven with tear-stained faces this is also significant. Enoch is there in his glorified body, along with Moses. Elijah is there, having been taken up in a chariot of fire with horses of fire in a whirlwind. Besides them, there are those whose bodies were raised from their graves at the time of Christ’s death on the cross, and who appeared in Jerusalem on the day of Christ’s resurrection. They all share glorified bodies with Christ as an assurance to the souls in heaven that they also will soon be like Him in complete perfection.
A story is told of a little girl who came home from Sunday School and was asked by her mother about the lesson. She answered that it was about Enoch, a man who walked with God. They walked and walked. And as they walked they came ever closer to heaven. One day God said to Enoch: “Why don’t you come to live with me?” So he did.