Those who Followed – 2. Enoch
Key Text: Genesis 5:18-24
We are in week two of our series on those who followed. And we are staying pre-flood.
Last week we looked at Noah a man who lived in a profoundly different world that we exist in now. Tonight we are looking at his great grandfather Enoch.
Now much has been said about Enoch and if you want to end up on the weird side of Youtube really fast Youtube Enoch and the Nephilim.
Unfortunately what is known about Enoch is limited Biblically speaking the Bible only says this in Genesis 5:18-24
18When Jared had lived 162 years he fathered Enoch. 19Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.
21When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Okay so the Bible says very little; but what it says is profound for the continuation of our study.
Now before we get there we have to address an elephant in this room. It is probably an elephant that many of you don’t even know exist but that elephant needs to be addressed.
Drawing a line from the life of Enoch
Drawing lessons from the life of Enoch
The task of walking by faith
The reward of walking by faith
So the elephant in the room is the fact that there exists the book of Enoch; so if you could please turn with me in your bibles to Enoch 10:4…
Okay so you are all looking in your indexes it’s not there… This book falls into what it termed the Apocryphal and some would argue the pseudepigraphal books. What do these mean?
Apocrypha biblical or related writings not forming part of the accepted canon of Scripture. writings or reports not considered genuine.
Pseudepigraphaare falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure of the past.
Why the book of Enoch falls between these two realities is that it is strangely quoted from Jude 1:14-15 and he quotes the book of Enoch.
So if the Bible quotes it does it not make it Scripture; to that we say; well that part that is quoted yes but the whole book is not.
You see Paul quotes Epimenides in Titus 1:12 when he says;
“One of the Cretans, a prophet of their own, said, ‘Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.’”
Does that make all the writings of Epimenides scripture? The answer is no.
Another problem is who actually wrote the book of Enoch? Because the book we have of his cannot be an original! There was a whole flood event that would have kind of ruined any writings of his.
The most gracious argument (that sympathises that the book is good but not scripture) says that (at least the first 5 chapters at least) were oral tradition passed down and finally written down.
The harshest critics of the book say it was a Semitic cult that wrote the book and ascribed it to Enoch for emphasis.
I have read most of the book and it is full of some truly problematic ideas if it is to be considered alongside scripture.
And so the line in the sand that we need to draw is that if the Bible doesn’t give us information it is dangerous to hold up other information we have to the same authority as Scripture.
We believe that Scripture is our authority; and we believe that the 66 books of Scripture is all that God revealed.
So yes we can read outside of these 66books but these Apocryphal and Pseudepigraphal books just don’t hold the same authority as Scripture itself.
So it is from Scripture that we draw our lesson and it is Scripture that we lean on for our direction tonight. Even there is a lot of information available to us in the book of Enoch; it simply does not hold Scriptural authority
So what lessons can we draw from the life of Enoch?
From The Genesis passage as well as the passage we find in Hebrews 11:5 which says;
5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.”[a] For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
I want to take in what the writer of the book of Hebrews emphasizes; “He was a man who pleased God.”
So how do we walk as Enoch walked? Well we walk in a way that pleases God. How?
Well it is impossible to please God without faith!
So we must ask what does it mean to walk by faith?
Well Hebrews gives us the answer for this;
“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Heb 11:1
Let me change this to be understood by all; Faith is trusting in what we hope in and having a deep conviction of the unseen God.
You see we have faith when we live with the confident assurance that God exists and is true to His Word!
The journey to pleasing God starts with us coming to the conviction that he exists; but more than that; that he is a good God who is for his people and faithful to what he says.
It is a fundamentally a turning away from self and a turning towards Go in dependency.
I guess this is one of the hardest things about being a Christian is that complete dependency upon God; let be honest all of us have a desire to be self-dependent; to be able to stand on our own feet; it is this arrogant self-dependence that prevents us from growing and hurts others when we become defensive at correction.
I have discovered that getting older doesn’t make you wiser to correction and dependence it makes it harder. The journey we take when we engage God and love Him is to declare that we need help; and I believe that that attitude should flow into every aspect of our being!
Enoch pleased God because he walked with him by faith; Enoch trusted in who God was and what God said he would do. And it was this that pleased the Lord!
The task of walking after God is living a life of faith; faith in God and in who God is (His character)!
In both Hebrews and Genesis we have the same result; Enoch did not die but went to be with the Lord!
Enoch is one of two people in the whole Bible who does not experience death rather they pass into the presence of God bypassing physical death altogether.
Enoch, it simply says, God took him. Elijah as some of us know was taken to heaven in a chariot of fire.
Both were men who lived their lives in absolute faith and both give hope to those who also live their lives in faith.
In fact this to me is such a picture of the promise of those who walk by faith and the reward of a life walked by faith; we will be with God and death has no victory over us!
This is the great reward that awaits all who seek God!
Just think about this church; although we might experience physical pain the fear of death and the mystery of death is taken away. We know that to die is gain, and in fact I have been amazed at the peace that those who believe die with.
They are at peace because they too (by faith) grasp that death is not it they are going to be with their God and their live and it’s toil will be rewarded by Him.
A life of faith is rewarded by God by enjoying an eternity with Him.
The more I walk with God the more I understand that the things of this world is simply a picture or a taste of what is to come.
Yes we can take joy in this life, but true joy awaits us when we see God face to face.
Yes we perceive beauty; but nothing will compare with the matchless beauty of God when we see Him in His full glory!
Faith fill my heart with a hope for this; I long to see Him who has loved me, who died for me and set me free!
I long to know Him fully! So I will live my life in faith holding firmly onto this hope!
Church, the lesson of the life of Enoch is that there is great reward for those who follow God. And it is not a reward that we will be disappointed in, rather it is a reward that far outweighs the input and demand!
In fact in this life we are blessed when we walk after God we are rewarded even here and now; however all the rewards we can accumulate and all the blessings that can be put on us here and now are nothing compared to what awaits.
As one commentator says; out of the whole bible only two chapters in Revelation are given to what it will be truly like in heaven when we go to be with God; and He believes God did this wisely because if God gave us more of a glimpse of what was to come Christians would be killing themselves to get there!
So church the challenge is to walk like Enoch; a life walked in faith; that means not leaning upon ourselves but rather leaning on Him and trusting on His promises.
Let us stop walking purely through our own strength and what we can do; let us fall upon Him who called us, and trust in what He promises to those who love Him and are called according to his purposes.
Let us walk by faith! Let us remember that those who walk by faith find favour with God and it is impossible to please God apart from faith.
So what are you facing this week? Are you walking in this in your own strength and trying to work it out on your own or are you living your life in light of the fact that we have a living God who is powerful and in control, and are you trusting Him to be all He said He is to His people?
This church is walking by faith! This is the lesson that Enoch gives us by His life; and also the hope that he gives us through what God does for Him due to His walking by faith!
I pray that we all walk by faith as Enoch does!