There is not a lot mentioned in the Bible about Enoch, but what is mentioned in just a few parts of the Word of God is striking. Enoch did not have such a large biography like Abraham or Joseph, but what is mentioned about him is sufficient to say that he walked with God, pleased God, and was taken out of the world before the judgement of the flood. Is this not a striking type or picture of believers in this world today? The name Enoch means ‘dedicated’, and he sure was dedicated to God and the interests of God in a world that rejected God and any thought of God.
There are three key portions in the Bible that mention Enoch. The fist is a historical aspect in Genesis 5:21-24. The second is in the New Testament, where his faith is displayed in Hebrews 11:5, and the third portion mentions that he was preaching in the epistle of Jude verses 14-15. Enoch is also mentioned in certain genealogies, one in 1 Chronicles 1:3, the history of Israel, and the other is in Luke 3:37, in the amazing genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is interesting that Enoch comes out as one of Seth’s descendants in Genesis 5. Seth was the appointed one, the replacement son for Adam and Eve after Abel was murdered. If we read about all the people in Genesis 5, we read one thing in common about six of these descendants – that they all begat sons and daughters, and they all died after living for an extraordinary amount of time on earth, Methuselah being the oldest person who lived on earth, 969 years. Then we come to Enoch. Of him the Scripture mentions a beautiful testimony in Gen 5:22, that he walked with God. Nothing extraordinary that he did, unlike Elijah. In verse 23, the days of Enoch were 365 years. At that time, he must have been a young man, or still in excellent health, and it would have been a shame, or even a curse, for one to die that young. However, what is extraordinary and unusual is that he did not die. God took him before the judgment. What a blessed fact! Enoch was not (was not found), for God took him. Were people looking for him? Perhaps they wanted to lay their hands on him for preaching about God and judgment (see Jude 14), or perhaps they wanted to question him about his walk and conduct. Either way, we can learn from this passage that we don’t need to do something extraordinary, but if we trust Christ as our personal Saviour and Redeemer, He will take us up to be with Him before the judgment of the world, and before the start of the great tribulation (see Rev 3:10; Jn 14:1-3; 1 Thess 4:13-18).
We see a glimpse in the life of Enoch in Hebrews 11, which is referred to as the great chapter of faith. Enoch walking with God was by faith alone. He must have heard about God from his parents or grandparents, and in turn he made a decision by faith to walk with God. What does a walk with God involve? Separation from the evil system of the world, where the world system teaches the exact opposite of the Word of God. It is not isolation from people, because we can reach out to people by our actions, behaviour and by walking with God, without preaching and teaching. First, we do the walk with God, and be in close communion with Him, listening to what He says, and speaking to Him in our prayers. Enoch had the testimony that he pleased God in Hebrews 11:5, and as a result, did not see death, for God had translated him. It is ironic that the other person who did not see death and was taken up by God was Elijah, both names beginning with the letter E, but Elijah’s ministry was of a different character. He did extraordinary things, but not so with Enoch. However, they were both taken by God, as types or pictures of Christians living today, who know Jesus Christ as their Saviour, will be taken up to be with Him before the judgment comes upon the world. How did Enoch please God? His testimony was good. His behaviour, actions and speech were good, and showed that he was a believer, different from the rest of the people around him. We can learn that our actions speak louder than words, and our behaviour as Christians is being watched by all those who do not know Christ as their Saviour, or reject the gospel of the grace of God. What should characterise us as Christians? The fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, also meditating on the things mentioned in Philippians 4:8. Living daily in the presence of God, reading His Word and speaking to Him in our prayers is also essential if we are to show our behaviour as different from the rest. We are NOT to exhibit a ‘holier than thou’ attitude, but be helpful, kind when we can, and listen to others when time permits.
In the epistle of Jude, Enoch is mentioned as one who preached about the judgment of God. Back in Genesis 5, Enoch called his son Methuselah, which means ‘when he dies, it shall come to pass’. Shortly after the death of Methuselah, the flood indeed happened. This is a strong message, and in a way, Enoch did preach that judgment would come. This is mentioned in Jude verse 14, where Enoch was looking to a future prophecy of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. This second coming is in relation to His appearing on the earth in judgment, and not the rapture of the Christians (all true believers in Christ). How did Enoch know this? He did not have the Holy Spirit dwelling in him at that time, but he was definitely led by God to say this in view of the coming of Christ to execute judgment at His appearing. Now today, we may not preach these extraordinary words, but gently share the gospel of the grace of God reaching out to lost sinners.
In light of the facts before us in Scripture about Enoch, it was fitting that he should be part of the genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ in Luke 3. What marvellous grace of God! We therefore learn that first, we walk with God as a result of learning about him, whether in church gatherings, or from parents and friends, we walk with Him in an upright manner, reading His Word and praying to Him. While walking with Him, we will indeed please Him as we align our thoughts with His thoughts, and our mind with the mind of Christ, and grow in our relationship and enjoy our fellowship with God our Father, and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. This is all by faith alone, not anything that we have done, but relying on the finished work of Christ on the cross, that this alone can redeem us and bring us to God. While being in communion and fellowship with God, we can extend this in our daily lives and show by our behaviour that we are different, with the view to draw people to the knowledge of Christ as their Saviour. Preaching and teaching is not required from us, but behaving and acting in the way that God wants us to daily, as we wait for the return of the Lord Jesus to take us up to be with Him in glory forever. In concluding, our life biography may not be as lengthy as Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Elijah or the others, but it can be short like Enoch. Those with a very long biography all failed in their testimony (with Joseph as an exception, although the Bible does not dwell on his failures), but in Enoch’s short biography, we do not read of him failing. We can be sure that he failed and confessed his sins and failures to God, but this is not recorded in the Word of God. The life of Enoch is an encouragement for the believer to draw closer to God, especially in light of this trying time in which we live, and it is also a message for the unsaved person to recognise their sinful state and turn to the Lod Jesus Christ as Saviour before it is too late and things get far worse than what it is now.