21 Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. NKJV
Enoch is one of those Old Testament figures of whom not much was written, but the little that was written speaks volumes. Enoch lived in an evil time and was surrounded by evil. That was the state of mankind before the flood during Noah’s time. (Noah was Enoch’s great-grandson.) The scripture tells us Enoch lived 365 years, but at sixty-five years of age he started walking with God. What happened when he was sixty-five? What caused him to start “walking” with God then? Was he disillusioned with what he saw around him? Did the evil of the day take a toll on his life that caused him to realize the shallowness of a sinful life? Was he living a sinful life himself and finally came to the place where he recognized it brought an emptiness? Did he realize that there was a goodness (since God’s character is good) that was inert in his surroundings? We don’t know; we’re not told. What we do know is that at sixty-five he turned to the Righteous God, and then walked with Him for the next three hundred years.
Men, that’s a lot of years of faithfulness. But for those three hundred years, Enoch just kept walking with God. Does that mean he lived a perfect life, devoid of any mistakes? I don’t think so, but I do think that in the challenges and difficulties of life, he just kept putting one foot in front of the other. And one day, (v. 24) “God took him.”
5 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. 6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. NKJV
It’s amazing that this man, who had so little written about him, was listed in Hebrews 11. Where God “took” Enoch is speculative, uncertain, and debated, but what happened to his life and to his body is not the important part of the story. What IS important is that Enoch walked with God, and God was pleased. Enoch’s name in Hebrew means “dedicated,” and after his encounter with God, that’s how Enoch lived his life, as a dedicated follower who pleased God. I don’t know about you, but that convicts me and challenges me all at the same time.
What was it about Enoch’s “walk” that caused God to be “pleased”? The Scriptures tell us in
1 Chronicles 29:17, 17 I know also, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness… NKJV
For the word “uprightness,” other translations say “integrity” and “honesty.” But that’s how Enoch “walked” with God…in uprightness, integrity, and honesty, which was contrary to the culture of the time. And that put a smile on God’s face.
Enoch is an example of how when a man has a genuine, sincere encounter with God, regardless of the evilness of the culture that surrounds him, he can rise above it and walk faithfully with God in uprightness, integrity, and honesty. What a joy to know that I can actually put a smile on God’s face. And men, you can, too.
“Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you.” (GNT)