March 14, the Fifth Day of Lent

March 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

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.

-Hebrews 11.5-

The author of Hebrews now turns his attention to Enoch, a lesser-known descendant of Adam. The story of Enoch may be found in Genesis 5.21-24. Go ahead and take a minute to read it if you would like to do so.

Something interesting about this passage in Genesis is that it feels like a “speed bump” within the full chapter. This passage traces genealogies and descendants from Adam to Noah in a somewhat repetitive manner. Yet Enoch is worthy of special attention within this list, and the author of Genesis breaks out of the given format in order to speak about Enoch.

The New American Standard Bible uses the phrase “walked with God” when describing Enoch. Enoch had a special relationship with God; so special, in fact, that at the end of his life, God took Enoch directly into Heaven so that Enoch did not experience death. Elijah is the only other person in the entire Old Testament to be taken up into Heaven.

While this is remarkable in and of itself, the author of Hebrews chooses to focus upon the life that Enoch lived; “…He was known as  person who pleased God.” If we go back to Genesis and flip ahead a few pages to Genesis 6, we begin to see a strong contrast between Enoch and the kind of world that Enoch lived in. However, even in this flawed, broken world, Enoch was known as someone who pleased God. The author of Hebrews is telling us that our lives can only please God if we live by faith. He will address this issue a bit more directly in v. 6, but he presents Enoch here as another example of a life lived by faith. This is not because Enoch went out of his way to be known as a “holy man;” rather, his relationship with God was such an integral part of his life that it became part of his reputation.

After reading this we may ask ourselves: How does our faith permeate other facets of our lives? Enoch acts as an example for us of one who allowed his relationship with God to become a part of his daily life, so much so that the people around him knew that his relationship with God was not just found in special times of prayer or at church on Sunday. Enoch and God could be found together in daily life; in relationships with other people, in business transactions, in times of conflict, and even in moments of leisure. They walked together.

As we journey through Lent together, may we walk with God.

“Dear Lord, thank you for the example of your friend, Enoch. As I live my life, please help me to allow you into all areas of my life; even areas that I may have closed off myself. Do not let me get caught up in what others think. As I live my daily life, please be present in every moment. Amen.”

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