“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24
This comment about Enoch intrigues me. Ever since I was five years old, I wanted to know how to walk with Jesus. Well, here’s a man who didn’t even have the written Scriptures and yet this is how he is remembered by God before the whole world, as a man who walked with God. And it’s not just that he walked with God but that God was so delighted in his relationship to Him and with Him that He just took him to be with Him. Think of how close that is!
Now, I know that Enoch and I aren’t the only ones who think about what it’s like to walk with You, Lord. The Psalmist in Psalm 84:11 shared, “For the Lord is a sun and a shield, the Lord bestows favor and honor. No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.” There’s that whole idea of walking and you can’t walk uprightly unless you walk with the Lord because You, Lord, are the Definer of Uprightness. The Hebrew word for this walking is halak. Sometimes it’s paired with other words or in one of it’s other forms. But I know this, walking is all about a way of life. Skip Moen says, “It is the journey you take, the road you follow, the ordering of your steps. It’s how you conduct yourself along the way, each and every little thing you do or say.” But we’re not just talking about walking any way here. This is all about walking with God, journeying with You, following Your road, ordering my steps according to Your way, conducting myself along Your way in each and every little thing or big thing or in between thing that I say or do. Let’s think about this with Enoch.
Stop and think about when Enoch was alive. Enoch was walking the face of the earth as the great flood was drawing near. Men were becoming more and more evil, yet Enoch was drawing closer and closer to God. Now, there is a Book of Enoch that was not included in the cannon of the Bible, but we find Paul and Jude quoting from it. Paul tells us that “by faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” And Jude tells us “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convice 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.'” Maybe Enoch’s example is important to us.
Here’s this man who kind of reminds me of John, who would have been leaning against Christ at the dinner table if he could have. In the Book of Enoch, I read about those angels that saw women and somehow came down to them and had children with them. These children became violent giants. The “fallen” angels taught the women secrets from heaven, like how to make weapons. God was going to bring judgment upon them but first wanted to tell them what would befall them. Do you know how he would do that? Do you know who He would choose to warn angels? Lord, I find this amazing that You chose a man, not another angel, to stand before powerful angels and prophesy to them. That man was Enoch. And when You told Enoch his task, I don’t see that he ever flinched. He went and told them, these beings that others feared. But that’s not the only amazing thing. These angels do something even more surprising. These angels ask Enoch to intercede on their behalf. These angels ask Enoch to pray to You for their forgiveness. And he does, though You refuse to grant it. Think about that! How close must this man have been to You that You send him on Your task like that and that they respond in that way.
It makes me think of the seven sons of Sceva who were trying to cast out an evil spirit, a fallen angel. And the spirit tells them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” But can you imagine the demons asking Paul to pray for them? I do remember a time when a demon asked Jesus not to send them to the abyss but into the swine. Yes, Enoch had a special closeness. He had a closeness that came from knowing and following hard after his God. And Enoch was just a man, a mere man, like everyone else, only God honored his closeness and made him much more than a mere man in the eyes of angels.
Closeness with You, Lord, isn’t an easy thing. It’s hard. There are great promises, but some of them won’t be answered until we’ve suffered long. But that’s not what Enoch was looking to and it’s not what I ought to look to. Enoch walked with You in the here and now of his life, moment by moment. His faith was lived with You as he lived and breathed. This is were faith is, in the here and now responding, in the here and now abiding, in the here and now obeying. If I won’t walk with You in the here and now, what right do I have to future rewards? And if You and Your presence are my present reward, what future reward other than Your full presence could top that? Makes the moment by moment hard stuff more than worth it, doesn’t it? You are so worth following. Nothing could be for my own better interest than following You.
You tell us to “go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20 This isn’t about telling people stories and words and moving on. This is about showing them how to walk it out in their lives. This is demonstrating the power of the word in our life, in our walk. This is bringing the Word to life in our lives. This is letting God have His way in and through us. This is when we start to walk like God walked on earth. This is when the angels and demons and people respond to us as they responded to Enoch because they knew who he represented and they knew who was with him. Enoch walked so closely with God that everyone knew. They responded to him like the One he represented. That’s what it looks like to be a true disciple. That’s what my life must look like. That’s what every believers life is called to look like.
You designed for Your disciples to be reproductions of You. When we make disciples they don’t become reproductions of us. We are to teach walking in You. If I’m a reproduction of You, then my disciples should see You and not me. It’s not just that we’re told to go and do this. The real translation is really more like, “Since you have been caused to live according to God’s way, now…” Enoch got it. Enoch understood who You were, Lord. How else could he stand face to face with angels and amongst giants and warn them? But here’s the thing. You showed Yourself to me. I placed my trust in You. Your desire is that I have that kind of relationship with You. And You are giving me everything I need to have You like that. You are causing Yourself to be known in me if only I will walk in You. And then that will be what others need to see to come to You and know You also.
Jesus said, “If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples.” John 8:31. You weren’t joking. I don’t want to write off Your written word just because there are things I don’t undertand. I want You to give me understanding. I don’t want to close my ears to Your quiet voice. I want to be sensitive to Your whispers and Your leading. I don’t want to become lazy or apathetic. I want to continually be intrigued and fed and encouraged and strengthened and empowered and maintained by Your word. I want to live in it and walk in it and sleep in it and eat in it. I want to live and die and live again in it. I want to follow Your word like it is Your life because it is. I want to follow You in actions and attitudes and thoughts and every part of me. I want to be more and more like You every day.
I don’t want to be some great encyclopedia of Biblical knowledge. I want to hear Your voice and read Your words and obey. I want to walk with You, really walk with You. I want to follow You. I want to hold Your hand. I want You to hold mine. But when You tell me that I need to let go of Your hand and stand up for You in some hard thing, I want to have the confidence in You to go and to do and to do so without fear. Why? Because it’s not about my abilities; it’s about what You are doing in me and through me. It’s all about my confidence in You. And that’s comforting.
So Enoch walked with God and was translated. The Greek word is metetheken and means to be taken away. The Aramaic, chanavak, has the idea of “being consecrated, dedicated and carried away.” It’s the idea of being wholly and completely given to God. Wasn’t Enoch this given over? Do you think that God possessed every fiber of Enoch’s heart and mind and body? Obviously so, considering He just took him right into heaven with Him.
Now, Chaim shared that this being carried away is also used by the bridegroom when he goes to the bride’s house, picks her up, and carries her to his father’s house where she becomes one with him and his family. Aren’t we the bride of Christ. Isn’t this intimacy what You, God, desire with us? How can I expect to be given over to You some day in the future if I am not already given over to You now? If I want to be with You so much now and You want to be with me so much now, won’t Your desire be to come and take me to be with You forever? But that’s just it. The relationship must start now. See, my walk now determines the kind of bride I’ll become. Funny thing is that the word for halak, if reversed is the Hebrew word for bride. I just can’t help being amazed at You God. I mean, here You create this vessel like Enoch, or me, or any person. You create us and yet You rejoice in us when we fill ourselves up with You. You want nothing more than for us to live like we love and adore You, the One who loves and adores us. And what does that look like? It looks like a life walking with You, adoring You, obeying You, dwelling in You, being confident in You, trusting in You, letting everything else pale in comparison to You.
Lord, more than anything, I want to walk with You. I’m not Enoch and I’ll never be. But I am the me that You created. I’m the vessel for You that You created me to be. And You have created me with every opportunity to be able to walk with You and to know You and to be filled with You and to fulfil Your purposes and proclaim Your glory and give Your warnings. You desire as intimate a relationship with me because it’s what You created each of us for. Lord, should the whole earth turn from You, Oh, that I would remain clinging to the One who loves me so. Help me to understand what Enoch knew. Don’t ever let me forget his example. Teach me to walk with You in spirit and in truth all the days of my life.