Read an Excerpt
Enoch Is Taken by God
• Date: Prediluvian era
• Occupation: Prophet, walker with God
• Family Ties: Father, Jared; son, Methuselah; great-greatgreat-great-great grandfather, Adam
• Mentioned in the Bible: Genesis 5:18-19, 21-24; 1 Chronicles 1:3; Luke 3:37; Hebrews 11:5; Jude 1:14
The long lists of names are somewhat yawn-inducing. "Adam became the father of Seth, and Seth became the father of Enosh" -- yawn -- "and Enosh became the father of..."
Keep reading this list of names in Genesis 5 and you find this eye-opening yawn stopper: "When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. Enoch lived 365 years, walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him" (Genesis 5:21-24 NLT).
Talk about an extreme exit! What in the world happened? And then, even though we want to know more, the list goes on: "Methuselah became the father of Lamech..."
Now, fast-forward to the New Testament book of Hebrews. The unknown writer of Hebrews saw Enoch as more than just a name on a list, for he wrote, "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). Following that explanation of Enoch's character is the Bible's well-known definition of faith: "It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him" (Hebrews 11:6).
In his 365 years on this planet, Enoch carved out a reputation as a person who pleased God. The secret? Walking in close fellowship with God. Enoch was literally a walking definition of faith.
The Genesis passage tells us that Enoch had sons and daughters. He was a family man -- presumably with some kind of occupation, a home, a wife and children, and probably grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. He lived a life not much different from his contemporaries (and not much different from ours in some respects); yet he did it all while walking in close fellowship with God. In fact, God enjoyed it so much that he simply took Enoch to heaven. Enoch didn't have to endure illness or death. Instead, God brought Enoch into his presence. (Only one other person had that privilege -- Elijah. You can read about him in "Extreme Exit -- Part 2," page 21.)
What does it take to have that kind of enduring fellowship with God? The clue seems to be in the word walking. Walking is a step-by-step process toward a destination. Each step matters. Each step moves us forward. Each step is intentional. Each step is a choice. If we want to have close fellowship with God, we must take each "step" in our lives -- each action, each choice, each decision, each thought -- with the constant desire to please God. Enoch did it for 365 years. What would it take for us to do it today, tomorrow, and for the rest of our lives?
Enoch's story is told in Genesis 5:21-24. © 2007 The Livingstone Corporation