Enoch is one of the few Biblical characters who attained praise and positive report in the Bible. Though he lived for 365 years, he has lived a very short life compared to his predecessors. He is known to be the seventh from Adam (Jude 1:14) and the son of Jared and the father of Methuselah.
The narrative story of Enoch is very brief. His entire life was summarized as this: “And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Genesis 5:24). As this might be the case, we can learn a lot from the life of Enoch. It is important for us to study these lessons and apply them in our daily lives.
Lesson no. 1: Heaven is not the reward for the righteous
Genesis 5:24 tells us that “Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him”. Another passage adds, “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).
Most people who read these passages would immediately conclude that Enoch was taken up to the heaven. However, if you carefully read the passages, you will not find the word heaven here. It simply states that “God took him”.
It is important to note that Jesus Christ himself said, “No one has ascended to heaven but He who came down from heaven, that is, the Son of Man who is in heaven” (John 3:13). This passage clearly says that Jesus Christ is the only one who has ascended to heaven and no one else, not even Enoch.
We know that “Scripture cannot be broken” (John 3:35) and we can read in the Hebrews 11:13 that Enoch later died a physical death. Enoch did not ascend to heaven but is now in the grave waiting for the resurrection of the saints. To know more about this topic, click this link.
Lesson no. 2: Please God rather than men
Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Enoch “pleased God”. When it comes to two choices, between pleasing God or men, Enoch clearly showed us the right decision. Enoch lived during the time when the world was filled with wicked men to the point that it took God to deliver Enoch from that sinful generation.
Enoch knew that he will have a more comfortable life if he pleases the people around him. He knows that life would be better if he just conforms to the influence of the world. However, he did not take this path, but rather decided to “Enter by the narrow gate… because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life.”
It is not easy to live a life pleasing to God, but you know something is worth doing if it is difficult. Though we may suffer, like Enoch, during this time for doing the things pleasing to God, we know that a great reward awaits us.
If we ever suffer – and suffering is really part of our life – wouldn’t it be great to suffer for God? The Apostle Peter has this to say:
“For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps” (I Peter 2:19-21).
Lesson no. 3: Walk with God
Genesis 5:24 tells us that “Enoch walked with God”. In a world where everyone is walking away from God, just like Enoch, we need to choose to walk with God. But what does it really mean to walk with God?
Walking with God means walking in faith. As the Apostle Paul tells us, “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (II Corinthians 5:7).
There are things in this life that really do not make sense if we use our human eyes. However, with the eyes of faith, we are able to see the promises of God and be assured of it (Hebrews 11:13). According to human reasoning, Enoch should have just followed what is convenient during his time. But because Enoch walked with God in faith, he chose to live a life pleasing to God.
Walking with God is an active process. It is not something that we can attain while passively warming our seat during church services. No, it must be active.
It must be dynamic.
Colossians 1:10 tells us:
“That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
In this verse, we can see that to walk with God means to FULLY please Him. This means that we need to give him 100% of our being. After that, we must be fruitful in every good work and increase in the knowledge of God.
The Bible is clear: walking with God takes effort and sacrifice on our part. As hard as it may seem, walking with God brings a lot of indescribable blessings to our life today and to the life to come.
Lesson 4: God will execute judgment
Not known to most people, Enoch made a prophecy. His prophecy talks about the judgment of God.
“Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him” (Jude 14-15).
Most people go on with their lives not thinking about the consequences of their actions. They only think about the here and now.
Enoch has a different thinking.
He is a forward-looking man who knows that God is the God of mercy and at the same time, the God of justice.
Though God is “not willing that any should perish” (II Peter 3:9), He won’t force His way of life to anyone. Everyone, including you and me, should make the conscious decision to choose God’s way of life. This is an individual decision that each of us must make.
God’s gift is everlasting and abundant life. He will not give it to just anyone who continuously breaks His commandments. Thus, He will judge us according to what we have done during our lifetime.
We must always remember that “we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (II Corinthians 5:10).
Lesson 5: God will protect His people
We know that Enoch lived in a world where wicked men flourish. He lives in a world bent in rebelling against the commandments of God. For this reason, it is not difficult to see why people will persecute anyone who represents God’s way of life.
Enoch would not have lived a comfortable life. He preached to the people about the coming judgment of God. This can easily make people angry and lead them to persecute Enoch. We know that God rescued Enoch by taking him and preventing people from killing him.
God shows that He is able and is more than willing to protect His people during persecution. God have done this to Enoch and it is certain that He can also do it for us today.
Doing the commandments of God alone could have saved us in numerous times. Imagine if all the people would just follow the sixth commandment, “You shall not murder”; this world would be a safer world for everyone.
Doing God’s commandment will also lead us to make better choices in life that will prevent us from being in a dangerous situation. God is very merciful and loving that He gave us His commandments to guide us.
In times of danger, we can always pray for God to protect us from all forms of evil. We can have the confidence that He will hear us as long as it is part of His will.
Enoch walked with God and lived a life pleasing to God’s sight. I hope we will be inspired by the life of Enoch. His story has been recorded for us today and set a good example for all of us to follow. Enoch showed us that it is possible to please God as long as we have the faith and courage to walk with Him.
So let me leave this question: will you walk away from God… or will you walk with God?