August 13th, 2021 – Friday Evening
“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” ~Genesis 5:24
While trying to find the next passage that would highlight an aspect of God’s character (or at least one aspect that we haven’t already explored since Genesis 1:1), this verse stuck out as a possibility. When I read the NET’s (New English Translation) notes on the passage, it was settled (more on that later). Let us reiterate here that every jot and tittle of Scripture is God-breathed, inerrant, infallible, sufficient, and profitable – especially for every man of God to be complete and equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17) – yet, certain verses highlight this and certain verses indicate that. In this series of devotionals we are endeavoring to focus on the character of God in Scripture and on keeping a clear perspective of true reality (in light of Him).
In light of all that, what does this verse say? First, all we know of Enoch (other than his age and family details) is that he walked with God and that he disappeared. Enoch lived a relatively short life compared to his contemporaries, but the fact that he walked with God sets him apart from every other human being who lived before the Flood (with the exception of Noah, perhaps). Furthermore, Enoch is mentioned as one of the few special people of faith (and as one of our forewitnesses, so to speak) mentioned in Hebrews 11. Yet, his life of faith and his walk with God – while exceptional and noteworthy – are not the most amazing part of this passage.
What is the most amazing part of Genesis 5:24? This: That God allowed Enoch to walk with Him and that God took him [so that he didn’t see death]. We know that it is God’s desire that people walk with (abide in, have close fellowship with) Him and enjoy His goodness and grace; even all of the Law and the Prophets point to Jesus, the perfect Mediator between God and man. Still, it is truly amazing that man can have close fellowship with his Creator, Lord, and Judge! While Enoch did not have the pleasure of living in Christ (like we do), he did enjoy the kind of relationship with his God that we now enjoy in Christ, I believe. I can imagine the sweetness and satisfaction that Enoch experienced – because it is even more sweet and satisfying today in Jesus!
The second part of this is the frosting on the cake. Enoch was not – he disappeared – because God took him. Here today and gone tomorrow, but not because of a horrible death or a slow disease or even a sudden illness; here today and gone tomorrow because the LORD God permanently delivered him from death. I mentioned the NET notes earlier…here is the one that got me: “The text simply states that God took Enoch. Similar language is used of Elijah’s departure from this world (see 2 Kgs 2:10). The text implies that God overruled death for this man who walked with him.” Can you imagine? No, I know we can’t. Yet…wow!!! God overruled death for this man who walked with him. While we can never fully grasp that, we can understand that death has been overruled (not necessarily in a physical sense, but more certainly in a spiritual and eternal sense) in the Lord Jesus Christ.
How should we respond to this passage and its implications? First, to see physical death eradicated for Enoch by the LORD God is awesome (and you may know that I do not use that word lightly); to see spiritual and eternal death eradicated for us by this same God is amazing! Praise Him and be in awe of Him! Second, since satisfying and sweet fellowship with the LORD is available to you and I through Christ Jesus, let us walk with Him all day long. I know that you and I will find Him to be just as good and merciful and amazing as Enoch did so long ago, and our relationship with Him will be even closer.
Thank You, Father, for calling us into fellowship with You!