New Hope Notes
Enoch: The Man Who Walked With God
Heroes...Who Bring Hope
Pastor Elwin Ahu
Heroes are hard to find these days and they vary based on who you ask. If you ask my 5-year old son who his hero is, he’ll tell you Spider Man or some other Saturday morning cartoon super hero. If you ask a 10-year boy in a playground who his hero is, there’s a good chance he’d say Colt Brennan (UH quarterback, 3rd place 2008 Heisman awardee). When I grew up, heroes were usually legendary sports stars who would never change team. They stayed with their teams no matter what happened, for example Roger Maris or Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees or Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants.
Heroes are those that we tend to pin a badge on because of some great accomplishment. In our series about heroes, we recently talked about David who was a great warrior and king but today we are going to learn about (and from) a hero that isn’t mentioned very much in the Bible. In fact, if you search the Bible, you will really only find three verses of substance about this man. Who is he? Enoch.
The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Enoch but what that suggests to me is that he was probably an ordinary man. You don’t hear about any special exhibitions of talents or gifts with Enoch but God must’ve found something very different about him when you read what Hebrews says:
“By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.” (Heb. 11:5 NIV)
In this passage, the Bible tells us of something very extraordinary about Enoch…Enoch avoided death. There is only one other person in the Bible who did not experience death and that was Elijah. Not only does that passage tell us that Enoch was able to go with the Lord without experiencing death, it also tells us why. It was because God was pleased with Enoch.
If Enoch was able to go with the Lord without experiencing death, can we ever achieve that? Well let’s look at what Thessalonians has to say:
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout…and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
That’s amazing! This scripture tells us that if we remain with Christ and we are with Him when He comes, we can experience the same phenomenon as Enoch! Does anyone know the exact time when Jesus will come again? No, the Bible is very specific about that; however, when the time comes, I want to be taken up just like Enoch. But what did Enoch do that pleased God so?
“Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years…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.” (Gen. 5:22-24)
Based on this scripture, the first step we learn about pleasing God is…
1. Walking with God Requires Steps of Commitment and Consistency.
At the beginning of each year, as it is now, we all make lots of resolutions for what we’re going to do this year. This year I think there’s a resolution that we should all make, and that is: to walk with God. We need to walk with God regardless of the circumstance. Enoch persevered through it all – 300 years! We need to follow his example of being committee and consistent.
Walking with God implies walking in step with Him and in the direction God wants you to, but oftentimes when we walk with God, we’re like kids. Similar to how my son Jared often runs ahead of me when we’re walking, or lags behind because he is complaining about something, we are often out of sync with God. We get upset with Him because we think He hasn’t answered our prayer and we blame Him for our mistakes. Or we run ahead of God – especially those who are successful in business or relationships because their pride gets the better of them and they forget where their blessings actually come from.
On the other hand, the passage told us that Enoch walked with God. Not ahead, and not behind, but with God. And when we walk with God, look what happens:
“Can two people walk together without agreeing on the direction?” (Amos 3:3)
Walking with someone necessitates agreeing on the direction with Him. Enoch knew what direction God had for him and he walked in step with God. Walking with God is being in such close relationship with Him that He becomes a part of you.
The first thing we learned about pleasing God is that it takes commitment and consistency. The second thing we need to learn is to…
2. Embrace the Present with a Sense of Urgency.
Similar to last week’s sermon when Pastor Wayne talked about the need to number our days, the story of Enoch reminds us of the same thing:
“You bring our lives to an end just like a dream. We are merely tender grass that sprouts and grows in the morning, but dries up by evening.” (Ps. 90:5-6 CEV)
When my older son Brandon was 18 and graduating high school, I remember sitting across the table from him and having a flashback of when he was just a toddler – watching him fall asleep in his bowl. Now he’s 26 years old and getting married in 3 months! How quickly time passes…
“Another reason for right living is that you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for the coming of our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Rom. 13:11 NLT)
Everyday that goes by – we’re another day closer to our eventual destination. There’s a sense of urgency to live every day to the fullest! It’s a gift God has given us.
Sometimes we get sucked into the “someday” syndrome…
- Someday it’ll be less crazy at work and I’ll have more time for my family.
- Someday the kids’ schedules will be less busy and I’ll have more time with my parents.
- Someday we’ll have enough money and we do more for others.
The problem with “someday” is that it steals the joy out of the present. Sometimes we’re given gifts and we want to enjoy them but by the time we get around to them, it’s too late. It’s like having a restaurant gift certificate that you put on the side for “someday” when you have time to go to dinner with your spouse, but the next time you pick that up, you notice that it’s expired so you can’t use it anymore. Sometimes we just wait too long and things “expire”. Don’t let that happen. Seize the day!
“This the day the Lord has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Ps. 118:24 NLT)
Enjoy today! Don’t worry about the past which you can’t change. God has already covered that with His blood. Don’t worry about the future which you can’t control. God’s provisions cover the future. Live today! Live each day without regret but that leads to today’s third (and final) lesson we from the life of Enoch…
3. Live with a Sense of Priority, Focused Upon Eternity.
When it comes down to it, the question we should be asking ourselves is…are we prepared for when we reach our destination?
Our lives are so full of activities and competing interests, and the Bible reminds us:
“The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they may have life, and might have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Write the word “busyness” next to “destroy” and “relationships” next to “abundantly.” The Devil’s strategy against the life of abundance is busyness. Busyness steals the joy out of relationships but God urges us to invest in relationships – vertical (with God) and horizontal (others).
“So don’t live in darkness. Get rid of your evil deeds. Shed them like dirty clothes. Clothe yourselves with the armor of right living, as those who live in the light.” (Rom. 13:12 NLT)
To look forward to the kind of future Enoch experienced (getting taken by God without death), we need to commit to walking with God consistently, embrace the present with a sense of urgency and trust God to take care of the rest, yet live with a sense of priority, focused upon eternity so you will be ready to for your destination when the time comes.
Our relationship with God is what delights Him the most. It is not our successes or even our perfection, but rather the nearness of our hearts to Him that gives Him greatest joy. In this New Year, let that be our resolution... to follow Him with a resolute heart.
1. Name two ways you can (or do) walk in a manner that is pleasing (consistent and committed) to God?
2. How do you live your life today? For the past, future, or present? Explain.
3. What do you think you could do to be more pleasing to God? How can you go about making that happened?
4. What does it mean to “live with a sense of priority but focus upon eternity?” Share about something you already do that does that. What can you do to improve in this area?
5. Who is your hero and why?
6. What can you do to be a hero [for God] to someone else?