When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. | Genesis 5:21-24 (NIV)
Who is the person you have known the longest? Is it your sibling(s), spouse, parents? Sometimes the longer we know a person, it leads to us loving them more – but not always. It may be that the more we get to know someone the less we like them, the less we enjoy them. Because of sin and its impact on all our relationships, knowing someone deeply has potential for good or for bad, for increased or decreased love.
In the verses above, we read about a man named Enoch, who’s mentioned only briefly in the Bible – in genealogies from Genesis, 1 Chronicles, and Luke; in Hebrews 11 (the hall of faith!); and in Jude. Genesis 5 details the genealogy from Adam to Noah, and each name carries a certain rhythm – who was born, how long they lived, and “then they died.” Enoch interrupts that rhythm when the text mentions that he “walked faithfully with God” but, unlike his forerunners or descendants, he did not die. “God took him away” (v. 24) after living 365 years.
The text is careful to say that Enoch walked with God after having Methuselah. Perhaps fatherhood gave Enoch a greater awareness of God’s fathering and fostered a love and dependence on him; we’re not sure. But we know from Hebrews 11:5 that Enoch’s faith was such a significant part of his character that he was commended as “someone who pleased God.” Whatever else you may want for your life, do you want to make God happy? Does that drive your actions and your decisions?
We will never be able to live for the length of time Enoch did. But by the power of the Holy Spirit, how poignant it would be to have the kind of testimony Enoch has – to walk faithfully with God, to know him deeply, that God looked on him and was pleased. It can be easy to just glide over the fact that Enoch walked with God for 300 years (especially when living for 900 years at that time wasn’t uncommon!). But still Enoch felt there was more to know, more to ponder, more to appreciate about this one true God whose ways are so far above the heavens, whose wisdom and knowledge are so deep (Rom. 11:33)!
What a sweet thing to be part of a church full of people desiring to know God. To be part of a body (leaders and followers alike) who want to know him more deeply with each passing year, to walk with him more intimately, to trust him more dearly, to plumb the depths of his character, makes one immeasurably rich. What a testimony to the greatness of God, to the riches of his glory and kindness and splendor – that we’ll never run out of things to learn of him, that he reveals himself to us. He opened himself up to be known by Enoch – and he has done it for his people Israel and his church through his Son’s life and death and resurrection, through his Word, and through the Holy Spirit who teaches and reminds us of who God is and what he’s said (Jn. 14:26).
Since faith is a gift from God, let’s consider why he gives that faith to us in the first place – so we can please him, obey him, yield to him, and be holy as he is holy. The only thing that can spur all of those actions is to know him. Knowing this great God spurs us on to say “Yes” to his perfect will and become more like him.