The Way of Enoch

Enoch

Nothing else is more important in life than living in communion.  Living in communion with the One who knows us better than we know ourselves. People reflect God in so many ways and not always as predicted or expected.

Several years ago I attended an Anglican church. The senior minister left me with a simple yet lasting piece of insight. Each morning he would get up before sunrise and spend time walking quietly, just himself and his maker, listening, reflecting, praying and enjoying time out of the world’s insanity.

Walking with God in this way is by no means a new concept. In the crazy world in which we live, I suspect it is a dying or at least a fading practice. Perhaps a lesser known biblical character, Enoch, a member of Adam’s family, knew this well. He provides us, through Scripture, a way of deepening our relationship with the Triune God.

‘So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.’ (Genesis 5:23-24 ESV)

God took Enoch! What this infers is that amongst the vast numbers of people who have lived on the Earth, only two never died according to Scripture. Enoch and Elijah. This raises the question, “Why?” “What is it about Enoch that separated him from the pack and what can we learn from his ways?”

It has been suggested that God and Enoch were in the habit of taking a long walk together every day and that one day God said to his companion, “Why go home? Come all the way with Me.” And so it was that God took Enoch directly to live in His presence.

While we shouldn’t place our hope in sharing Enoch’s direct assumption into God’s dimension, we as followers of Christ can learn a lot from the way of Enoch.

Here we find a man of outstanding sanctity who enjoyed intimate fellowship with God. It has also been suggested that the example of Enoch’s assumption played a part in the origin of Jewish hope for life. With God beyond death, an assurance now made clear through what has been achieved through Christ in His death and resurrection.

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As we look to be inspired by the life of Enoch, we come to see the development of a great faith. One that was built over time, strengthened continually in the presence of the Heavenly Father.

‘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. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is rewards those who diligently seek Him.’ (Hebrews 11:5-6 ESV)

As with the gift of the human mind’s ability to reason, faith in God is also a gift. Our understanding of the gift of faith cannot be separated from our understanding of God’s Grace. We as people can do nothing to earn it. We can therefore only receive it with joyful and open arms as we embark on our journey.  The journey to know the Triune God more deeply.

The gift of grace received by faith has the power to take us beyond the foolishness. Beyond the foolishness of human reason and philosophy alone. Surely Enoch, because he pleased God, must have understood this well. Knowing what it truly means to be a human being, created in God’s image so as to reflect that image back into the world.

It would make sense to ask at this point, “What is this faith that Enoch and followers of Christ identify with?”

It is the gift of being able to hear the gospel message and respond. Respond to what has been finished once and for all through Christ in His death and resurrection. This is the recognition of the reality of who God is and who we are as His creation.

We would all do well to learn from the way of Enoch, walking closely with God. Closing our ears to Sinatra’s words of, “I did it my way,” and instead living as God intended. In His Grace.

Written by Ben Swift

Writer of Christian Apologetics and Philosophy for the blog 'Escape the Box'. Teacher of Science and Mathematics working for Lutheran Education Australia. Husband and Father of 3 amazing girls and owner of a food-obsessed beagle cross.