You open your Bible to Genesis and start reading through the genealogies. Most names blur together, but one name jumps out – Enoch. Unlike the other names before and after, Genesis says that Enoch “walked with God; and he was not, for God took him” (Gen. 5:24). This mysterious man catches your attention. Who was Enoch? Why did he walk with God? And what does it mean that God “took” him?
In this blog post, we’ll explore the biblical accounts of Enoch and what we can learn from his remarkable life. Get ready to go on a journey with this ancient hero of faith!
- Enoch was a righteous man who walked closely with God.
- God “took” Enoch, meaning he did not experience physical death.
- The Bible implies Enoch prophesied about future judgement.
- The New Testament commends Enoch’s faith.
- Jude quotes the extra-biblical book of Enoch, affirming its validity.
- Enoch’s life illustrates the blessings of walking closely with God.
Enoch in Genesis
Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Gen. 5:24)
This short verse hints at some extraordinary events. First, Enoch “walked with God.” What does this mean?
Walking with God implies friendship, intimacy, and common purpose. As you walk through life, God walks beside you. Just as two friends chat while taking a stroll, Enoch lived his life in close fellowship with God.
Enoch wasn’t a distant follower of God. He experienced friendship with his Creator. Every step was taken in tandem with the Almighty.
Second, the text says “God took him.” In context, this means Enoch did not experience normal physical death. Rather, God supernaturally “took” Enoch out of the world. Elijah experienced something similar when he was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind (2 Kings 2:11).
So Enoch bypassed death and went directly to God’s presence. His virtue was so exceptional that God blessed him uniquely.
Enoch in the New Testament
The New Testament contains several additional tidbits about Enoch. Let’s explore what we can learn.
The book of Luke traces Jesus’ genealogy back to Adam. Luke includes Enoch in the lineage and reiterates that Enoch “was taken up” by God (Luke 3:37). This affirms the Genesis account.
The New Testament writer Hebrews also references Enoch in its famous “Hall of Faith” passage. Hebrews 11 commends heroes from the Old Testament for their outstanding faith. About Enoch, the author notes:
By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God. (Heb. 11:5)
Like Genesis, Hebrews confirms that God “took” Enoch so he did not experience death. Additionally, the writer explains Enoch was taken up because he had “pleased God.” His deep walk with God was an act of remarkable faith that God rewarded.
Finally, the short New Testament book of Jude provides the most intriguing details about Enoch. It quotes a prophecy of Enoch found in extra-biblical Jewish writings:
And Enoch…prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 14-15)
This passage describes a prophecy of Enoch foretelling God’s future judgment on the wicked. The prophecy isn’t recorded in the Old Testament. Rather, Jude quotes the pseudepigraphical Book of Enoch written between the Old and New Testament eras. By referencing this book approvingly, Jude affirms the validity of some extra-biblical Jewish writings.
Through Jude, we see hints that Enoch was known for his prophecies. God apparently gave him revelations about future judgement which were recorded outside Scripture. These prophecies likely motivated Enoch to live righteously and walk closely with God.
What We Can Learn from Enoch
Though mentioned only briefly, the accounts of Enoch teach us important spiritual lessons. Let’s reflect on a few:
Walk closely with God. As mentioned, Enoch’s most outstanding trait was that he “walked with God.” Following God from a distance is easy. But cultivating real friendship with Him takes time, effort, and sacrifice. Enoch pursued closeness with the Lord, no matter what others did around him. We too must nurture our relationship with God through prayer, Bible study, and obedience. Don’t settle for a casual acquaintance with your Creator.
Remember coming judgement. Enoch apparently prophesied about God’s future judgment on the wicked. Remembering the reality of judgement should compel us to walk righteously, as Enoch did. Paradisiacal images of heaven await the faithful, while the unrepentant face eternal condemnation. Biblical warnings about judgement are meant to jar us from complacency and spur us toward holiness.
Have faith that pleases God. Enoch’s actions demonstrated outstanding faith. He believed God’s promises and lived accordingly. Faith is not passive belief but active trust that transforms how we live. If we have faith pleasing to God, we will courageously obey Him no matter the cost. Our lifestyles will look increasingly distinct from the world’s ways. Let’s allow steadfast faith to shape our actions.
Pay attention to extra-biblical writings. The book of Jude references Enoch’s prophecies recorded outside the Bible. This implies extra-biblical writings, if handled carefully, can have value for understanding biblical background. But they must be tested rigorously against Scripture’s contents and never treated as equal with God’s authoritative Word. As we study Scripture, we can judiciously consult extra-biblical sources to provide cultural and historical context, while remaining rooted in the Bible.
Imitating Enoch’s Example
Thousands of years later, the life of Enoch still inspires us. In a world where most forsook God’s ways, he courageously walked with his Creator. His courageous faith pleased God so much that he was taken directly to heaven. What reward awaits those today who walk closely with the Almighty?
As you strive to follow Jesus faithfully, remember Enoch’s example. Nurture your friendship with God. Remain unstained from sinful compromises. Fix your eyes on the coming day of judgment and eternity with your Savior. When others drift from truth, stay anchored to God’s Word.
Someday you too will fellowship with the Lord face to face. On that day, may He say to you as he did to Enoch, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into your Master’s joy!” With God’s power, you can walk faithfully just like Enoch. Keep pursuing deeper friendship with your Lord every step of the way.