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Enoch Walked With God

"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." (Genesis 5:24)

“Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.” (Genesis 5:24)

As we walk through the graveyard of Genesis Chapter 5, we come across something rather strange. We see a headstone that tells us about Jared, how long he lived, the fact that he was Enoch’s father, and then we read that he died. Then, a few feet away, we see another headstone that tells us that beneath it is buried Methuselah. It says that Methuselah was the son of Enoch and that he himself lived 969 years (longer than anyone else in the Bible) and then he, too, died. It seems that Enoch’s grave, however, is nowhere to be found.

We are not told very much at all about this mysterious person who “walked with God.” Yet it is interesting to note that when we compare what the Bible does say about him compared with the first “Enoch” that we read about back in Genesis 4:17-18, we are really told a great deal more. Cain intended the name of his son Enoch to live on forever, naming the city that he founded after him. Though that Enoch was the namesake of an entire city and although from him would descend great pioneers of the arts and humanities, the Word of God barely gives him a passing glance.

This Enoch, however, this Enoch was different. No city bore his name nor did any great civilization descend directly from his offspring, but this Enoch is given great prominence because he “walked with God.” He was faithful to the Lord and walked with Him. This is what God considers important. It wasn’t the Christian College that he founded, it wasn’t the huge megachurch that he pastored, it wasn’t the jam-packed stadiums that he preached to. Enoch is remembered and his name is recorded forever in the Scriptures because he walked with God. I can think of no higher aspiration than one day seeing those very words written by our own names in the Lambs Book of Life.: “He walked with God.”

“By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would not see death; and he was not found because God took him up; for he obtained the witness that before his being taken up he was pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 11:5)

Enoch was not found. People looked for him, but he had vanished. There was no trace of where he had gone. We know from the Book of Jude that Enoch was a prophet who unflinchingly warned of God’s judgments (Jude 14-15). This must have garnered him many enemies in a world that had already sunk into such depravity. I wonder what they thought when they sought him out and could not find him.

“Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

I believe that the translation of Enoch is a picture of the Rapture of those who are in Christ that will occur before the Tribulation. The Tribulation shall be the final judgment of God on an unrepentant world; the Flood was the first. As God took His own out of the world before He moved His hand in judgment with the Flood, so shall He do again before the final judgment. It has been calculated that the Flood came upon the Earth the very year that Methuselah, Enoch’s son, died. I do not think that this is a coincidence. God in His wonderful Grace spared Enoch from the wrath of judgment and even waited until his son was gone before releasing the flood waters.

Some well-meaning Christians have discarded the teaching of the Rapture of the Church because they do not see any Biblical precedent where God has taken His own out of the way of harm, only that He has given them the grace to go through it. I would suggest that what He did in the life of Enoch would definitely be such a precedent. While God certainly does not shield us from the troubles that are in the world (John 17:15), He has not appointed those who trust in Christ to receive His wrath and judgment (Romans 5:9, 1 Thessalonians 5:9). When we understand that the events of the Great Tribulation described in the Book of Revelation (e.g., Revelation 15:1, 16:1) are God’s judgments on an unrepentant world, we can see how the Lord will take His own out of the world before He releases His wrath upon it; just as He did with Enoch, the man who “walked with God.”

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published October 2, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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The Book Of The Generations Of Adam

"And all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years: and he died." (Genesis 5:5)

“So all the days that Adam lived were nine hundred and thirty years, and he died.” (Genesis 5:5)

What type of feelings do you associate with a graveyard? Sadness, fear, regret? Cemeteries often elicit a very powerful emotional response because of what they represent and what they remind us all of, that is, that this life will end someday for every one of us. Regardless of what a person believes concerning the afterlife, people of all beliefs recognize that this life will one day end.

Chapter 5 of the Book of Genesis is really a graveyard right in the middle of the story of the beginning of mankind on the Earth. We are given little more than a list of names, their children, and how long they lived. And the final words given in regards to nearly every single name on the list are: “And he died.” He was born, he had children of his own, and then he died.

This is the cold and sorrowful tale that a headstone relates. Most often, a tombstone tells noting more than the name, date of birth, and date of death of the individual buried beneath it. It has been said that most people will not be remembered at all beyond the third generation that comes after them. For the vast majority of us, we will be utterly forgotten within 20-30 years after we have passed on. Oh, that we might have a better perspective of the ultimate meaninglessness of the busy activities into which we pour so much of our time and strength!

“Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—” (Romans 5:12)

Chapter 5 of Genesis is a stark reminder of the consequences that sin brings. While these people mentioned who lived before the Flood had remarkably long lifespans, they all still died. And so it is with every generation, save for the last one which will witness the return of the Lord. This life will end one day for all of us.

The Good News is that we will not remain in the grave! For those who are trusting in Jesus Christ, this life is but a preface to the true life that is to come. Indeed, the moment that these bodies cease to be alive, we will be forever present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8). Though we pass through this solemn graveyard of the Fifth chapter of Genesis, may we all be reminded of the words declared by the Apostle Paul:

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”(1 Corinthians 15:55)

The consequences of sin brings death to the body, but the Grace of God brings life to the spirit.

“So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 5:21)

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 29, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

Men Began To Call Upon The Name Of The Lord

“Adam had relations with his wife again; and she gave birth to a son, and named him Seth, for, she said, “God has appointed me another offspring in place of Abel, for Cain killed him.” To Seth, to him also a son was born; and he called his name Enosh. Then men began to call upon the name of the LORD.” (Genesis 4:25-26)

The Book of Genesis briefly follows the lineage that descended from Cain, ending with the tragic account of Lamech. We are told two things about this line: they fell into awful sinfulness, and they were apparently very resourceful. Lamech is mentioned only in connection with his sinfulness and unrepentant attitude toward God. His children are mentioned only in connection with their accomplishments. Jabal, Jubal, and Tubal-Cain are commended as the “fathers” of various arts and sciences; while Lamech’s daughter, Naamah (whose name means “pleasantness” or “loveliness”), is simply mentioned without comment.

“…For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart (1 Samuel 16:7b)

What a stunning contrast we have in the narrative concerning Cain’s line: people who seemed to be so filled with grace and beauty, yet with hearts that were dead to the things of God!

Seth’s Line

“For the LORD of hosts has planned, and who can frustrate it? And as for His stretched-out hand, who can turn it back?” (Isaiah 14:27)

The devil may have breathed a momentary sigh of relief when Abel fell dead to the ground, thinking that the seed that was to crush his head may have been snuffed out, but God’s plans are thwarted by no one. Eve called her new son “Seth”, the “appointed“, and recognized that it would be through this son that the Son would ultimately come Who would redeem mankind from the effects of sin’s curse.

“Then began men to call upon the name of the Lord”

When exactly the calling upon the name of the Lord began to occur is not certain. I do not believe that it was intended to be understood that nobody was acknowledging God before the birth of Enos. But I think a distinction is being made here between the descendants of Cain and the descendants of Seth. By reading just a little farther, it becomes readily apparent that there certainly was not a unanimous, all-encompassing turning toward God. Only that a very small remnant from this line would do so. So it has always been that it pleases God to preserve a small remnant (apparently only two individuals from Seth to Noah: Enoch and Noah himself) who will devote themselves wholly to the Lord.

And what is this great distinction between Cain’s line and Seth’s? It was not that one possessed greater wisdom and insight. It was not that one had more revelation from God than the other. It was not a different background, culture, or environment that made the difference. They called upon the name of the Lord. They recognized two extremely crucial things which those in Cain’s family did not: 1.) Who God was, and 2.) who they were. They acknowledged their need for God and that He was the only One Who could remedy the problem of the sin that separated them from Him. It is only by having a real understanding of these two things that anyone will truly call upon the name of the Lord.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 28, 2009]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

 

Dwelling In The Land Of Nod

"And Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and dwelt in the land of Nod, on the east of Eden. And Cain knew his wife; and she conceived, and bare Enoch: and he builded a city, and called the name of the city, after the name of his son, Enoch." (Genesis 4:16-17)

“Then Cain went out from the presence of the LORD, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain had relations with his wife; and she conceived, and gave birth to Enoch; and he built a city, and called the name of the city Enoch, after the name of his son.” (Genesis 4:16-17)

So, after God passed sentence on Cain and laid out what his punishment would be for killing his brother, Abel, Cain departed from the presence of the Lord. This departure was both physical and spiritual. What we read in the next few verses is a perfect picture of mankind’s endeavors apart from God.

The very first thing that we see Cain doing after God has banished him from His presence is that he continues to defy God. God said that Cain would be a “vagabond in the earth” (Gen. 3:14), and that is exactly what the term “Land of Nod” means: the land of “wandering”, or the land of “vagrancy.” So, Cain does indeed become a wandering vagabond. But verse 17 tells us that he “built a city.” Apparently Cain still did not believe that God’s Words were true. Cain was attempting to establish a place of settlement, a place for him to find residence after God Almighty had decreed that he would never find such.

Cain called his first-born son “Enoch”, meaning “one initiated” or “one dedicated.” It spoke of a new beginning, a changing of a way of life. What a horrific contrast between Cain’s son and the man who shared the same name whom we meet in Genesis 5:21-24! The second Enoch was a man dedicated to the glory of the Lord while this Enoch was dedicated to the glory of man. The second Enoch was a model of those who would walk with God while this Enoch was a model of those who would live for themselves.

Cain began a trend that would repeat itself throughout history as he named the city he set about to build after his son, calling it “Enoch”, as well. Mortal flesh has the innate desire to preserve its name and legacy for posterity, fearing that our names will not be remembered and our lives forgotten. The word translated as “built” in verse 17 denotes a sense of repairing, fixing, or continuing to build something. It is not generally associated with a completed project. Perhaps Cain’s efforts to complete the construction of his “city” were so thwarted, as God’s judgment was upheld, that he dared not assign his own name to the city he himself was perpetually building. His hope laid in his son carrying on his legacy. And, sadly, it seems that he and the rest of his descendants certainly did.

“I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and indeed, all is vanity and grasping for the wind.” (Ecclesiastes 1:14 NKJV)

We are not told very much about Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, and Methusael, but we are given a little more detail about the fifth and sixth generations after Cain. Jubal,  Jabal, and Tubal-Cain, the sons of  Lamech and grandsons of Methusael, are credited as the “fathers” of animal husbandry, music, and metallurgy, respectively. Sometimes, as Christians, we have the tendency to underestimate what unredeemed mankind is indeed capable of accomplishing. While some of the most distinguished institutions of higher learning and some of the most prestigious medical facilities in the world were, in fact, originally dedicated to the glory of God and founded in His name, many were not. While the Word of God certainly teaches us that nothing that is done apart from God shall last, we are never told that humanity is incapable of monumental accomplishments on their own.

The descendants of Cain doubtlessly constructed impressive monuments, composed beautiful music, and possessed great herds of livestock. From the outward appearance, these people would have seemed to be getting along just fine without God. But, as we see in the chapters of the Book of Genesis that follow, these people were not really doing as well as they thought they were.

From God’s perspective, Cain’s descendants lived, had children, set about their business, and then died. They are very briefly even mentioned in the Word of God before the narrative returns in verse 25 to the lineage through which Christ would come. So it is for all who would separate themselves from the presence of God and choose to “dwell in the land of Nod.” Regardless of what they might accomplish in this life, only that which is done for the glory of Jesus Christ will truly last. Though they name great cities after themselves, though they found majestic halls of learning and commission magnificent monuments to be built in their own name; those who die apart from Christ will perish in their sins and spend eternity separated from the presence of God. Their only achievements will forever perish.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 23, 2009]

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

**Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) © The Lockman Foundation and are used by permission.

*New King James Version (NKJV)Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

Cain: A Portrait Of the Lost Sinner

"And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground." (Genesis 4:10)

“And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.” (Genesis 4:10)

There are many striking similarities between the judgment of Cain and the final judgment that awaits the sinner apart from Christ:

God Gave Cain The Opportunity To Repent

“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9)

God reached out in grace to Cain before he killed Abel (Genesis 4:7); He reached out afterward in mercy (verse 9). As was the case with his father, Adam, Cain was approached by God with the opportunity to take responsibility for his actions and repent and turn to God. Before God became Cain’s Judge, He offered to be his Savior.

Cain Could Not Hide His Sin

“In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.” (Romans 2:16)

Nobody else may have ever discovered Abel’s body or concluded that Cain had murdered him, but God knew. Cain made an effort to deny his actions when he told the Lord that he did not know where Abel was. How is it that someone would believe that their sins could remain concealed from an omniscient God? Nevertheless, people have continued in this belief and will doubtlessly maintain this thought even on the Day of Judgment.

Cain Was Defiant Of God

“And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.” (Revelation 16:10-11)

Even in the face of judgment for their sinfulness, many will curse and blaspheme God rather than repent and turn to Him. Cain responds insolently to God, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain is defying God by really saying, ‘I am not his keeper, YOU are, YOU go find him!’

Abel’s Blood Cried Out For Justice

“And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” (Hebrews 12:24)

The blood of Christ speaks of better things because it is the only blood that has ever been spilled that cries out to God for mercy rather than vindication. We are gravely mistaken to believe that God will not demand retribution for every single act of sin that has ever been perpetrated. Cain believed that he had forever silenced his brother, making impossible any testimony from whom he believed was the only witness to his crime. But the very blood of Abel “cried out”, as it were, for retribution (verse 10). We cannot conceal nor can we cleanse away the bloodstains of our own guilt; those bloodstains, too, cry out to God for justice. Only through the covering by the blood of Jesus Christ can any of us avoid the penalty for our sins that we justly deserve.

Cain Bore The Curse Of God In Himself

“But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee:” (Deuteronomy 28:15)

God cursed the ground because of Adam’s sin, but He cursed Cain himself when he murdered Abel (verse 11). As we saw with the judgment of Adam, Eve, and the devil, so we see here the ironic nature of God’s judgments. The very Earth whose harvest Cain had arrogantly placed his confidence in, bringing the work of his own hands to God, would no longer yield anything to him. The ground that would later “vomit” out the inhabitants who defiled her (Leviticus 18:25) would reject Cain and deny him the right to subdue it. Nor would it ever again provide a place of rest for Cain to set himself down, he would be a vagabond and a wanderer. He would be like the unclean spirits that Jesus spoke of who walk about the dry places of the Earth: seeking rest, yet finding none (Matthew 12:43). The lost sinner will be ultimately cut off from the presence of God, but his greatest torment comes from the fact that he can never be cut off from himself and the curse that he bears in his own flesh.

Cain’s Concern Was For His Punishment

“And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.” (Luke 16:23-25)

Cain, who had shown absolutely no remorse or concern for what he had done, now becomes concerned over the sentence that God passes on him (verse 13). Like the rich man in Hell that Jesus told of whose only concern was for his own torment, Cain is unfeeling in all matters that do not pertain directly to his own desires and his own comfort. This is the way of the lost sinner, as well. Cain complains to God that his punishment is greater than he can bear. It is almost a brief afterthought to him that he will be separated from the presence of God; his biggest worry is that someone might kill him for what he did to Abel! Would he not deserve it if they did?

God Reserves Final Judgment

“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

God marked Cain, preventing anyone else from taking judgment upon him for his murder of Abel (verse 15). Later, God would enact the law of judicial capital punishment (Genesis 9:6), but in the case of Cain, God prohibits any further exacting of judgment by other people upon him. This, too, is a portrait of the Hell-bound sinner: God will serve as the ultimate and final Judge.

Cain Remained Unrepentant

Absent from this entire conversation between God and Cain is any inkling of repentance or contrition on the part of Cain. At no point, before or after the sentence is passed, does Cain call out to God for mercy nor does he ever ask for God’s forgiveness. Some Bible skeptics have raised objections over the eternal nature of Hell and God’s final judgment of sinners apart from Christ; but there is absolutely no evidence in the Biblical record that any of these people will ever repent and turn to God. It’s not that they have not been given enough time, or if they had the chance after they stand before God to call on His name for mercy. The saddest part is that even then they will not repent. Sure, they will complain about the sentence that God passes and will express great concern over the fate that awaits them but, like Cain, they will depart from the presence of God without so much as a single ounce of remorse or confession over the offenses they have committed.

To Jesus Christ goes all glory. In service to Him,

Loren

loren@answersfromthebook.org

[This post was originally published September 18, 2009]

**All Scripture quotations in this post are taken from the King James Version (KJV) Bible

[If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ or you are not certain where you are headed when this life ends, I invite you to read the article “Am I Going To Heaven?“]

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