I teach a Friday elective at DCA to high school boys, called “Unsung Heroes of the Bible”. We examine the lives of little or lesser known men in Scripture, and what they can teach us today. It’s been a fun and fascinating study so far.
This past week we studied the brief descriptions in the Bible of Enoch, a man who lived in the pre-flood world, from Genesis 5 and a couple of short passages referencing him in the New Testament, in Hebrews 11 and Jude. Not much is known about him, and not much is written about him. Many of us who grew up attending Sunday School remember him only via this simple phrase in Genesis 5:24, “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” Remarkably, Enoch is one of only two in the Bible, and I suppose in recorded history, that did not taste death, the other being Elijah. It’s as if, after a life lived in obedience and intimacy with God, rather than endure the pain and suffering of death, He simply said to Enoch, “How about I come get you, take you on home?”
What I found even more fascinating, however, was the fact that the Genesis writer (Moses) notes twice in three verses that “Enoch walked with God.” He notes it in v.22, then again in v.24. That is important, and Moses wanted his readers to note this tribute to Enoch. I studied the Hebrew meanings of the phrase, to see if there was more to learn. I found the word for “walked” is “halakh”, meaning “to walk or travel beside” or “to live with”. The usage here implies intimate fellowship, communion. Thus, the writer is stating that Enoch shared an intimate friendship with God, of a nature and depth few of his time knew.
He walked with God. What a fitting tribute.
I pondered that statement, attributed to Enoch 2x in three verses, and the statement the Hebrews writer adds, that Enoch was “pleasing to God.” We discussed it as a class, and I challenged the guys to think about the decisions they make daily, and they will make the rest of their lives. “Do you want to be known as one who walked with God, who was pleasing to Him?” I posed to the boys. It’s a great tribute to be known for in this life, as well as to be remembered by. We must choose daily to live a life that seeks to please God, and seeks to live in intimate communion with Him. Enoch chose that, every day of his long life. And God rewarded him for it.
I want that tribute too.