Years ago, I heard a sweet story. I thought it so beautifully represented how the way we walk with Jesus while here on earth shows the depth of our relationship with Him, and the potential outcome for those who will live their lives following His leading. It went something like this:
A teacher was telling the children in her Sabbath School class about Enoch. She asked if any of them remembered what the Bible said about Enoch and how he had “walked with God.” One little girl raised her hand and the teacher motioned for her to stand.
The little girl said that every day Enoch would take a walk in nature. He would study and pray and meet with God there. They would spend time together walking and talking and at the end of the day, Enoch would return to his home and God would return to His. Each day they journeyed together, they would walk farther and farther from Enoch’s home.
Finally, at the end of a particular day, they realized that they had walked together all the way to God’s house, so God said to Enoch, “Stay with Me.” And Enoch said “Yes.” And that is how, at least according to a little girl, God took Enoch to be with Him.
We find the brief story of Enoch in Genesis 5 beginning in verse 18: “Jared lived one hundred and sixty-two years, and begot Enoch.” Picking up in verses 21–24, “Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.”
Enoch lived at a time when, because of the longevity of man, there were nine generations living on the earth at the same time. Enoch had the privilege of hearing the history of creation and sin directly from Adam. A line of holy men, ‘preservers of the true faith’ developed over the centuries from the creation and Fall to the Flood. These men loved and feared God and kept His commandments. Theirs was a great and holy mission on this earth—to develop a righteous character and to teach godliness. They preached righteousness, reproved sin, and warned of a coming judgment. Enoch was one of these men.
For three hundred years, Enoch’s life was one of prayer and faithful, daily communion with God. While he was a preacher to the wicked of the world, he would also, at times, remove himself from their presence because he feared their influence. He was the humblest of men, ever recognizing his own weaknesses and imperfection as he communed with the divine greatness and perfection of God, and his faith grew. He carried the message of God’s love and judgment to the land where Cain had sought refuge from God, as well as to the sons of God.
“For three hundred years Enoch had been seeking purity of soul, that he might be in harmony with heaven. For three centuries he had walked with God. Day by day he had longed for a closer union; nearer and nearer had grown the communion, until God took him to Himself. He had stood at the threshold of the eternal world, only a step between him and the land of the blest; and now the portals opened, the walk with God, so long pursued on earth, continued, and he passed through the gates of the Holy City—the first from among men to enter there.” Patriarchs and Prophets, 87
“Enoch’s walk with God was not in a trance or a vision, but in all the duties of his daily life. He did not become a hermit, shutting himself entirely from the world; for he had a work to do for God in the world. In the family and in his intercourse with men, as a husband and father, a friend, a citizen, he was the steadfast, unwavering servant of the Lord. … And this holy walk was continued for three hundred years.
“[Enoch] was of one mind with God. … If we are of one mind with God, our will will be swallowed up in God’s will, and we shall follow wherever God leads the way. As a loving child places his hand in that of his father, and walks with him in perfect trust whether it is dark or bright, so the sons and daughters of God are to walk with Jesus through joy or sorrow.” Ibid., 85
During his life, Enoch sought for purity of heart and conformity to the will of God. He focused on eternal treasures rather than those of this world. As he loved his own child, he grew to understand the unfathomable love of God for His children. Prayer, for him, was the very breath of his soul and he sought for a clearer, deeper knowledge of God. Enoch walked with God, but not just on a physical, daily walk in nature. He walked with a heart devoted to God’s service, with a knowledge of his own need for purity, with a mind, heart, and soul turned heavenward. By communing with God, Enoch became more and more like Him and reflected that divine image to the world.
“A character formed according to the divine likeness is the only treasure that we can take from this world to the next. Those who are under the instruction of Christ in this world will take every divine attainment with them to the heavenly mansions. And in heaven we are continually to improve. How important, then, is the development of character in this life.
“As the will of man cooperates with the will of God, it becomes omnipotent. Whatever is to be done at His command may be accomplished in His strength. All His biddings are enablings.” Christ’s Object Lessons, 332, 333
“We are to keep the Lord ever before us. Those who do this, walk with God as did Enoch, and imperceptibly to themselves, they become one with the Father and with the Son. Day by day a change is wrought upon mind and hearts, and the natural inclination, the natural ways, are molded after God’s ways and Spirit. … They reflect to the world the character of Christ, and abiding in Him, and He in them, they fulfill the mission for which they were called to be the children of God. …” Living the Life of Enoch, 50
“The heavenly intelligences will work with the human agent who seeks with determined faith that perfection of character which will reach out to perfection in action. To everyone engaged in this work Christ says, I am at your right hand to help you.
Satan had said that there was no reward for the righteous and no punishment for the wicked. In translating Enoch, God showed to the universe what He will do for those who keep His commandments. Satan said that man could not keep God’s law, and yet, in the midst of this degenerate time in the world’s history, surrounded by evil that would lead to the destruction of all of mankind with the exclusion of only eight, Enoch lived a perfect life. Enoch is proof that there is a joyful and glorious life awaiting those who love and obey God.
“The Lord draws people close to His side, to walk with them, to work with them, to teach them how He overcame every temptation in humanity, and how, therefore, they may overcome through the provision the Lord has made. With every temptation there is a way of escape, by walking humbly with God. Without faith, ever increasing faith, it is impossible to please God. …
“In their fallen nature people can do the very things God expects them to do through the help provided for them. They can walk and work and live by faith in the Son of God. … He designs that they shall possess the character of God by obeying His law, the expression of His divine character. …” Christ Triumphant, 53
“By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’, for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5
“The follower of Christ must have faith abiding in the heart; for without this it is impossible to please God. Faith is the hand that takes hold of infinite help; it is the medium by which the renewed heart is made to beat in unison with the heart of Christ.” Messages to Young People, 103
“In every phase of your character building you are to please God. This you may do; for Enoch pleased Him though living in a degenerate age. And there are Enochs in this our day. …” Reflecting Christ, 299
Be an Enoch.
Judy Rebarchek is a member of the LandMarks team. She may be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org