5/7/11. Genesis 5: 18-24. What Ever Happened To Enoch? – Message

What Ever Happened To Enoch?

(A New Dad Who Got Serious With God)


 Link to the Kevin’s Bible Material                   Link to “What ever happened to that person?” series

Genesis 5: 18-24                                                       Shp Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

Key verse  5:24                                                         5-7-11


“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”


We are continuing on, exploring obscure people in Genesis. This week we want to learn more about Enoch. Enoch was commended as one who pleased God. He walked with God for most of his adult life. He was taken up to heaven, before he even died. Who was this Enoch? What was his faith like? What does it mean that he walked with God? Where did he go and how? What was his spiritual legacy? This message will explore a few of these issues. May God help you to walk with Jesus, who is God.


Part l: Born Into A Regular Family                               


OK…there are not so many verses here to draw from, so let’s see what the passage says. Look at verses 18-20, “When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 And after he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived 962 years, and then he died.” Well, it looks like Enoch had a mother and a father and brothers and sisters. His father’s name was Jared. Having other siblings is a good thing. Children learn how to negotiate, compromise and share things. He learned a lot through playing. He had personal struggles and learned forgiveness. Siblings influence each other. If the oldest child decides to live a spiritual life then their influence will trickle down to the others. I thank God for Jenn’s good influence. She has always set the standard when it comes to school, singing and spiritual life. The rest of her siblings have been blessed because of her and she has also made Julie’s and my life a whole lot easier. Enoch was the first child. His good spiritual influence trickled down to the others.


Part ll: Enoch, A New Father Who Got Serious With God  (21-22)


Enoch got more serious about God after the birth of his son. Look at verses 21-22. “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.” The Bible says that after the birth of his first son, Enoch walked with God the remainder of his adult life. His was a life long commitment.


Before having children, we are more interested in building our careers and families and getting established. We may even put Jesus on the backburner. But then the first child is born, we begin to think about the kids. We realize there is more for them to accomplish then just good grades and sports. We wonder how we can pass our faith onto them. We realize that they need morals and truth and faith. One can be the best parent in the world, but there are forces at work in our kids’ hearts that undermine our influence. There is the media, like television, movies and the internet. There are their friends. Sometimes parents feel helpless to influence their kids. And they are helpless. They can not be around their kids all the time. They cannot watch all of their internet activity or censure every movie or control what is going on with their friends. They need help from Jesus. The need to plant Gospel faith in their kid’s hearts somehow. They need to fan into flames the gift of God, and not suffocate it with their own fears and doubts. They need to trust that God’s Holy Spirit will work in their kid’s hearts when they pray.


Parents need to set the example. Like Enoch, they must decide to make a lifelong commitment to walk with God.  We can not downplay the importance of a parent’s influence on the faith of their kids. A recent study found that if a mother has Christian faith, then 30% of the kids will have Christian faith. If the father has Christian faith, then 70% if the kids will have faith. We are blessed because both Julie and I have Christian faith and our kids appear to have faith and follow the Lord. Enoch knew the importance of his own spiritual influence on his son, Methuselah.


Part lll: To Walk With God (22-23)


Walking with God means starting out small. The Bible says that Enoch walked with God 300 years. This was the majority of his adult years. But as we know a journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step. Those who walk with God start out small. They are not born walking with God. They start out having a weekly Bible study, attending various spiritual meetings. They have daily devotional time and prayer, even though it is not easy. Soon, they taste the goodness of the word of God. The word of God becomes like honey to their souls. They no longer have to be pushed. Walking with God becomes their love, their joy and their passion of life. Jesus becomes their all in all. Enoch must have gone through such a process as he learned to walk with God.


Walking with God means that you do not walk in the ways of the world. We are tempted to walk according to the prevailing culture. We walk with our peers. We walk with the popular philosophies and the cultural trends of the day. We walk with our own ideas. But the Bible teaches us that wide is the way that leads to destruction and many enter through it, but narrow is the way that leads to eternal life and very few find it. (Matt 7:13) Do not follow the majority. The majority is not always right. What about Nazi Germany or the Segregated South?  Enoch never walked with the majority, he walked with God.


Walking with God means not walking with our feelings and emotions, for they are changeable. One day they are positive, building us up and giving us strength to move forward, the next day they are negative and bringing us down to where we before. Those who live according to their feelings and emotions are changeable and their lives are like a roller coaster ride. But one who walks with God is one whose heart is like a deep ocean current, strong, steady and unchanging …unaffected by the storms and the squalls on the surface. They are like those who build their houses upon a rock, able to stand the harshest of storms. Walking with God leads our hearts into paths of peace. So, instead of following our hearts, let us walk with God, just as Enoch did.


Walking with God means recognizing God’s leading and following him. We may not know all the details of God’s calling. The Holy Spirit is like the wind, the wind blows where it pleases. You don’t know where it comes from and where it is going, but it is God. (Jn 3:8) Abraham didn’t know where God was calling him, or what God was calling him to, when God told him to go the Promised Land. Yet he had faith and trusted God. (Gen 12:4) God’s leading is like this. In a general sense, we know that God is leading us to draw closer to Jesus. He wants us to be more like Christ. He calls us to walk the narrow way that leads to eternal life in the Kingdom of God. He calls us to a particular calling, or mission in life. These are givens for all Christians. As individuals we need to pray and wait and find out the details. When I was a new Christian, there were so many people telling me what I should do in regards to my Christian life. There were so many opinions and confusion. And so one day, I got on knees in my bedroom and prayed, “Lord, I don’t know the narrow way that leads to eternal life. Please lead me on that path.” I trusted God and continued to seek after Jesus. Jesus heard my prayer and showed me the way. May you all pray a similar prayer in the privacy of your rooms, where there is just you and God, and trust that God will shed light on your walk with him, as he did to Enoch.


Walking with God means making the effort. In the warm months I do a lot of walking. But in the winter I don’t want to make the effort. I want to stay where it is comfortable and warm. And so my dog suffers and I carry a few extra pounds all winter. During Jesus’ earthly ministry, he called many people to follow him. But only those who decided to do it, leaving their old lives behind actually became his disciples. Jesus did not stay in one location, begging people to follow him. No! He moved on, carrying on with his mission. Whoever valued that calling followed him throughout Israel. They became his disciples and the future spiritual leaders of the world. Luke 9:23 reads, “Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” We don’t like to hear about such a dry topic as self denial, but it a necessary component in walking with God. Enoch denied himself, for a long time, in order to walk with his, and our God.


Walking with God means to imitate Jesus’ lifestyle. This does not mean wearing a robe and sandals and growing your hair long and sleeping out under the stars. It means emulating Jesus’ lifestyle and applying the spiritual principles contained within. What are the principles of Jesus’ lifestyle? Jesus preached and taught about the kingdom of God, sometimes to one person, like the Samaritan woman and sometimes to thousands, like on the Sermon on the Mount. He prayed, before dawn each day before people woke up. He raised disciples. There were the 12, the most committed, then the 72, who were in the next group and then the 500. Jesus showed compassion, even touching a leper, healing the demon possessed and healing the sick. A bruised reed he did not break and a smoldering wick he did not snuff out. He faithfully helped those who allowed him, until they could stand on their two feet. He loved the one who betrayed him. He prayed, “Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing” (Lk 23:34) for those who falsely accused him, mocked and tortured him and nailed him to the cross. Walking with God is to imitate Jesus’ lifestyle. Enoch strove to apply God’s character in his own life as he walked with God.


Walking with God requires humility. To walk with someone else means that you have to submit your own plans and agenda to someone else’s. You have to change your pace and direction. This is not easy for anyone, especially for those who are used to self directing their own lives. But Jesus shows us the way. He submitted himself to the agenda of his Father. Once when his mother, Mary came to him at a wedding, telling Jesus that they had run out of wine, what did Jesus tell her? “Dear woman why do you involve me?…My time had not yet come?” (Jn 2:4) Once Jesus’ brothers pushed him to go the feast and show the crowds his miracles. Jesus to them, “The right time for me has not yet come: for you any time is right.” (Jn 7:6) Jesus was always sensitive to the time schedule of his Father in heaven. He was sensitive to God’s leading. He bent his own will to walk with his Father. Enoch was sensitive to God’s leading timing. He showed us the way that we can walk with God.

Walking with God requires that we confess that we don’t know the way. Psalm 23:1-6, “ The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he restores my soul. He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” If we really think about it, do we know the way to green pastures and quiet waters? We don’t know the way to take when the shadows of death encircle us. We don’t know the way that leads to goodness and love and to dwelling in the house of the Lord forever. No GPS system can lead you there, but Jesus can. Let Jesus lead. Jesus came from God and went back to God. Jesus is our good shepherd. He knows the way. He can lead us back to the kingdom of heaven when we humbly walk with God. Enoch was humble enough to know that he was lost without God.

Walking with God requires the right priorities in life. There are so many things that demand our time and energy. Even Christians seem to let everything get in their way of walking with their God. Their lives of faith become full of good intentions but devoid of power. The key verse of the whole Bible has been said to be Matthew 6:33, “But seek first God’s kingdom and his righteousness and all of these things will be given to you as well.”  “First” means, as top priority. When we set seeking God’s kingdom and his righteousness as top priority in our lives then we  can have some spiritual traction and we can begin to walk with God. Enoch had the right priorities and that is how he could walk with God throughout his life.


Walking with God requires obedience. The Bible says that Noah walked with God. The defining factor of his faith was his obedience. He believed God’s word concerning the upcoming judgment. He trusted God’s way of salvation and he built the ark according to God’s plans, not his. He knew that if he obeyed he would not only save himself and his family but also be a source of salvation for the whole human race. He walked with God by obeying God. Our situation is very similar. Jesus has told us that there is a time when he will come again. There will be many trials and tribulations. And a time will come when “each one must stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body whether good of bad.”  (1 Cor   ) Those who are found in Jesus Christ, through faith, will be saved. They will taste spiritual victory in this life and will pass through the judgment to dwell with Jesus forever in the kingdom of heaven. If we are to walk with God, then we must believe it and determine to be found in Christ Jesus. We must obey God, starting now. Enoch obeyed God each and every day trusting God’s way of salvation.


Walking with God requires trust. It means that we need to trust that God is leading us along the best possible path in life. Jesus is our good shepherd. (Jn 10:10) He came to this world to make sure that we have life and have it to the full. He laid down his life for us. Romans 8:28 reads, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love you, who have been called according to your purpose.” We can trust God that he will work for our good, not just when everything is going well, but in all things.  Julie just got foot surgery. She is not bitter, blaming God for her present predicament. She trusts God and walks with God from the couch, praying and reading her Bible and doing what she can for the glory of God. God is our heavenly Father who loves us. We can trust Jesus as we walk with him. Enoch trusted in the love of God.

Walking with God involves preaching the truth. Jude 14-15 mentions about Enoch. It reads, “Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone, and 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.” This quotation is from an apocryphal book called the Book of Enoch. One thing that can be said concerning this quote is that the Jews felt that Enoch was a prophet and that he prophesied, calling people to repentance and faith.  Since it is in the New Testament, we also know that God wants us to know this. Prophecy in the Old Testament times is different than New Testament. New Testament prophets do not go beyond what is written. They speak the truth of God to the people of their generation in meaningful, pertinent ways. Those who walk with God must open their mouths to speak the truth of God, like Enoch did.

Part lV: God Took Him Away (24)

Verse 24 reads, “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.” What does it mean that the Lord took him away? There are other instances in the Bible where people were taken up to heaven. In 2 Kings 2:11-12a, we read, “As they (Elijah and Elisha) were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, ‘My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!’ And Elisha saw him no more…” Elijah was taken up to heaven without dying. The other prophets had a difficult time believing what they saw. They wanted to search for Elijah. (2 Kings 2:16-18) Finding no trace of him confirmed what had happened and strengthened their faith. The only other person to be taken up to heaven in bodily form was Jesus after his resurrection from the dead. (Acts 1:9)

The Bible teaches us that one day Jesus will come again and when he comes he will take us to be with him. Listen to the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. “Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.” Christ will return visibly, with a loud command. There will be an unmistakable cry from an angel. There will be a trumpet fanfare such as has never been heard. Believers in Christ who are dead will rise from their graves. Believers who are alive will be caught up in clouds to meet Jesus. They will not experience death. They will be changed also and be resurrected along with the multitude of people who have walked with God throughout the ages. They will all stand in God’s presence, safe and secure. We will experience exactly what Enoch experienced and will one day even meet Enoch.

There is one more question that you may be asking yourself. Where did Enoch go to? The passage says that God took him away. Hebrews 11:5, “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.” Taken him away to where? I believe that God took him to heaven to be with him. His journey on earth was complete. His mission was over. He had sacrificed enough and now it was time for him to receive his reward. He was commended as one who pleased God and God was happy bring Elijah close to his side.

Would you be happy if Jesus came again to gather you up to be with him today? Many of us wouldn’t. We tend think that life in this world is everything. We think of all the unfinished projects. But nothing in this world compares to Jesus and the kingdom of heaven. If God calls us to go, we need to go with no regrets, without delays, with only a joyful expectation of what is to come.

What ever happened to Enoch’s descendents? Well, he passed the faith on to the next generation. His great grandson was Noah. Enoch also left a great legacy of faith. People for thousands of years have been inspired to walk with God their entire lives because of the lifestyle he decided to live.

Enoch did not live as long as many of his peers. But he was commended as one who pleased God. He pleased God because, as a new father, he decided to walk with God. Walking with God means starting out small; it means not walking in the ways of the world; it means not walking with our feelings and emotions; it means recognizing God’s leading and following; it means making the effort; it requires humility; it means confessing that we don’t know the way; it requires having the right priorities in life; it requires obedience; it requires trust; and it involves preaching the truth. There are many other things that walking with God means but I couldn’t write a book. If we walk with God, we too can please God. We too will be taken up to heaven to be with Jesus for all eternity. David Starr Jordan, a biologist, educator and peace activist, once said, “Be a life long or short, its completeness depends on what it is lived for.” Our life completeness depends if we have walked with God or not and if we are ready to meet Jesus when he calls us to be with him in heaven.






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