Currently, I am preaching through Genesis 1-11 at Perryville Second Baptist Church. In our 33rd week through the series (no, I am not recommending everyone go that slow!) we came upon the curious case of Enoch in Genesis 5:22-24. This series of posts (see part 1 here) fleshes out some thoughts on Enoch’s walk with God and how we too may walk with Him.
Here is the text under consideration:
Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Twice we see that phrase there that Enoch “walked with God.” Gordon Wenham comments, “the phrase suggests a special intimacy with God and a life of piety.” What about you today? Are you walking with God or wandering from God?
I want to examine for the remainder of this post two things it means to walk with God (more to follow in subsequent posts!). Walking with God is what it means to be a Christian. Paul says in Colossians 2:6 — Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him.
Are you walking in the Lord today? Are you walking with the Lord today? I’d like to think about Enoch’s life to help us answer that question. What does it mean to walk with the Lord? Well, first of all, it involves:
Did you know that we actually have more words in the New Testament about Enoch than in the Old Testament? Enoch appears in that great hall of faith chapter in Hebrews 11. And the best commentary on Scripture is Scripture. So, let’s consider Hebrews 11:5-6 for a moment.
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
One thing we see here is that you cannot walk with God apart from faith. Enoch pleased God, not in works, but faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God. One cannot walk with God unless he or she trusts God; trusts that God exists and trusts that God rewards those who seek Him.
And of course, the book of Hebrews and the entire Scriptures bear out that the object of our faith is Christ. God took Enoch. They couldn’t bury him because they found no body. 2,000 years ago they went to Jesus’s tomb and they found no body either.
Jesus, a descendant of Enoch, is the focal point of our faith if we want to walk with God. We must seek forgiveness of our sins in the finished work of Jesus who became a man, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again in victory.
Walking with God is not dependent on your works, but on faith. God will not accept you communing with Him based on what you do but only based on what Christ has done on your behalf.
Enoch pleased God. Not in works, but by faith. It is impossible to please God apart from faith. And not that faith in and of itself is what is pleasing, as though faith is a work, but that the object of our faith, Christ, the blessed and eternal Son, is fully and finally pleasing to God.
Yes, we can please God as we walk with Him, but that is ultimately because of what Christ has done on our behalf.
What does it mean to walk with the Lord? First of all, faith. 2ndly,
Doesn’t perfect love cast out fear? Of condemnation, yes. But to walk with God is to fear God in the proper sense. Enoch walked with God because he feared Him. Meaning, he understood God rightly and himself rightly. There is no other way to walk with God.
Al Martin puts it this way: “if you do not know what the fear of God is in your heart and life, you do not know experientially the first thing about true biblical and saving religion.”
The Scriptures are replete with admonitions and instructions to fear the Lord. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of true wisdom. Christians used to be known as people who feared God — not in abject horror, but in honor and reverence and trembling at His Word, not desiring to dishonor Him, and not desirous of proud autonomy.
They didn’t sing songs about God fawning over them but songs of awe and reverence at His holy name and rejoicing in the gospel. To walk with the Lord is to rightly fear Him. It is a life of holiness. Commenting upon this passage in Genesis 5, James Montgomery Boice says, “If you do not walk with God, sin will not seem so bad to you and you will inevitably accommodate yourself to it.”
If you are not walking in the fear of the Lord, you are not walking with God. John says in 1 John 1:5-7
This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
Paul describes those who do not walk with God in Romans 3 when he says “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” That is, those who wander from God do not actually fear Him. They are not concerned about sin in their lives. They are not concerned about following His ways. They may talk of heaven, but there is no holiness present in their lives day-to-day.
Sin runs rampant in churches where God is not feared.
Are you walking with Him today in faith and fear?