We aren’t told much about Enoch in the Bible. In fact, the sum of our knowledge comes from a few verses.
First of all, we know his parentage: “When Jared was 162 years old, he became the father of Enoch…When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah…” (Gen. 5:18,19 NLT).
We know that he had a close relationship with God: “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God…” (Genesis 5:23-24a NLT).
We know that he was taken to Heaven without dying: “Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.” (Gen. 5:24 NLT).
We see him listed in two different genealogies, one of which being that of our Lord and Savior (See 1 Chronicles 1:3;Luke 3:37), and we see reference to him in the book of Jude: “Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, ‘Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.'” (Jude 14-15 NLT). From this brief passage, we see that Enoch was a prophet, and that he foresaw things that would happen in our day and age.
Non-biblical historical records tells us that he wrote a book, the book of Enoch. This is not considered part of the Old Testament cannon, likely because the ancient Jewish people rejected its inclusion in the books of the prophets; but this is likely the book that was referenced in Jude’s letter.
And finally, one last reference to our friend, Enoch: “It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying –‘he disappeared, because God took him.’ For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5 NLT).
Thus we have a prophet, a 7th generation descendant of Adam, a man in our Lord’s genealogy, a man who wrote a book, a man who had less than half the lifespan of everyone else in his day and age, the father to history’s oldest man, and perhaps most importantly, a man of faith.
And not just an ordinary man of faith, for there were many men of faith in the Bible; yet he and Elijah are the only ones transported to Heaven without seeing death. What was there that was so special about the faith of Enoch, and what can we learn about it that will help us in our walk of faith?
I believe the answers to these questions are actually clearly accentuated in the primary fact we know about Enoch: “Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God…” (Genesis 5:23-24a NLT).
In this one simple passage of scripture, we see all that we need to know in order to build the kind of faith that would place us with the fathers of faith, the kind of faith that would land us in Hebrews 11: Walking in close fellowship with God!
It is interesting that Enoch is mentioned among the pillars of Faith in Hebrews 11. I believe this is because God wants us to know that faith–the faith that will move mountains, the faith that saves, the faith that ushers in the miracles of our almighty God, the faith that pleases God (see Heb. 5:6)–all stems from… Relationship! A close fellowship with God!
But wait. Do I really want the kind of faith that will end my life prematurely on Earth? After all, Enoch did only have less than half the lifespan of others in his day. Think about it, however. God took him, without seeing death, to Heaven to be with Him all the time! He would be spared the pain of seeing the inhabitants of the earth deteriorate to what they were in Noah’s day. He would be spared the pain of seeing most of his own offspring turn away from the Lord. He would be spared the pain of illness and suffering. Instead, he would simply be with the Lord, his best friend, for eternity.
Thus, this one man, mentioned only a few times in scripture, reveals to us the key in growing in our faith: Having a personal, lasting, continual relationship with God!
Feeling like you are lacking in the “faith” department? Would you like to grow some mountain-moving, God-pleasing faith? Then look no farther than Enoch! Get in the habit of spending time with God. Not just once a week, not even just once a day, but all the time! Aren’t we told to “…never stop praying…” (1 Thess. 5:17b NLT)?
The Truth is that the more we spend time with God, the more we are transformed into His likeness, the more we come to love Him, the more we see Him at work, and the more we come to trust Him.
If you find yourself desiring this kind of a relationship with God, but you don’t know how to achieve it, please let us know. Perhaps we can guide you to some suggestions!
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “A New Perspective on Faith” mini-series, please click here!)