Jerry C. Brewer
In “the book of the generations of Adam” that Moses penned in Genesis, chapter 5, it is noted that those patriarchs all had great longevity of life. Adam lived 930 years and Seth lived 912 years. Of the first six listed, only Mahalaleel lived less than 900 years. The list ends with Noah’s father, Lamech, and it is said of each of them, “and he died.” Except for one.
Of Enoch it is said, “…all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: and Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). Methuselah, his son, lived 604 years longer than Enoch and his father, Jared, lived 597 years longer than he did. But inspiration did not record of Enoch, “and he died.” Enoch did not see death like those who were before him and those who followed after.
A passage from the New Testament gives us some insight into the unique case of Enoch who did not die as all other flesh. “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God has translated him; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God” (Heb. 11:5). This passage explains what the phrase, “and Enoch walked with God” means. It means that Enoch “pleased God.” And within this context, the Scripture says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
To walk with God is to come to Him in faith—not only believing that God is, but believing His word and obeying it. That is the kind of faith that led Enoch in an obedient walk with God. The faith that walks with God is a faith that takes God at His word and does what He says. Enoch “was not; for God took him” is the same in Genesis 5 as, “By faith Enoch was translated” in Hebrews 11 and the reason given is that Enoch’s faith led him to believe in God and to believe in God’s Word.
That is the kind of faith God has expected of man in all ages and it is that kind of faith that God rewards. All of His faithful who walk with Him shall someday be translated (“changed” as Paul puts it in 1 Cor. 15:52), and be with the Lord forever. What a glorious hope for those who walk with God!