By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read Genesis 5:1-27
“By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God. 6 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.” (Hebrews 11:5-6)
Enoch is one of only two people who did not experience death (Elijah is the other; see 2 Kings 2:1-12). Why? Hebrews says it’s because he pleased God (Hebrews 11:5). That doesn’t mean, of course, if you’re pleasing God you won’t die. But it does mean his departure from the world was a direct result of how he lived. He lived a godly life within the context of an evil and corrupt society. What he did mattered.
Do you want to live in a way that pleases God? Then you must know without faith it is impossible to please God. You must believe he exists and rewards those who seek him (Hebrews 11:6). You must operate by faith, even if you must do so alone and go against the accepted norms of the day. You must believe with expectation God responds — regarding his will for your life — when you seek to please him.
In a wicked age, Enoch lived a dedicated life; he did this by trusting God’s word. “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (Jude 14-15). He believed God would reward him for his faith, and God did so by taking him to heaven so he did not die. The reward of faith is important in Hebrews (Hebrews 10:35; 11:26; 12:11).
Our faith in God grows as we fellowship with God. We must have both the desire to please him and the diligence to seek him. Prayer, meditating on the word, worship, discipline — all of these help us in our walk with God. Enoch walked with God in the wicked world, before the flood came; he was able to keep his life pure. Enoch was taken to heaven one day (“translated” i.e., “carried across”) and seen no more. Abel died a violent death, but Enoch never died. God has a different plan for each one who trusts him. Some see in the translation of Enoch a picture of the rapture of the church when Jesus Christ returns (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18).
May it be said of you and me as it was said of Enoch: “He walked with God.” We must go in God’s direction, doing what God wants us to do.
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.