Countdown to Extinction
The other day I was thinking about the story of Enoch – the guy pre-flood who God happened to remove from the earth. There isn’t a whole lot said about him in the Bible but a few verses.
Genesis 5:21-24 (New King James Version)
"Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. 22 After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. 23 So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. 24 And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him."
His name, Enoch means to initiate, with the connotation ‘to initiate by word of mouth’. Enoch was born to initiate something by what he was saying. I imagine one can look back and realize that he was probably foretelling the coming destruction of mankind since the literal translation of his son Methuselah means ‘mega-death’ (no, he didn’t form the rock band). What stood out to me about Enoch however was that whatever he initiated lasted 365 years. He stayed true to saying something he lived. Kind of ironic that it’s the exact number of days to our (solar) calendar year isn’t it? Whether or not there’s a correlation, Enoch’s commitment to what he believed and spoke was mentioned in the New Testament;
Hebrews 11:5 (New Century Version)
"It was by faith that Enoch was taken to heaven so he would not die. He could not be found, because God had taken him away. Before he was taken, the Scripture says that he was a man who truly pleased God."
This verse gives me reason to believe Enoch wasn’t spending his life foretelling of pending doom but rather living his days pleasing God. To grasp that reality one must realize that the world in which Enoch lived was growing darker by the day. As each year passed, sin and wickedness became the norm. People held nothing back and soon were out of control. Even God’s chosen people left His promise of a Redeemer to be born through their race and instead chose to intermarry, thereby creating a new race of people interested in only doing evil continually. Month by month, day by day the world wanted nothing to do with God. Yet in the midst of all this, 365 days out of 365 years Enoch held true to what he believed about God and wasn’t afraid to live it. That’s impressive.
Hebrews 11:6 (New Century Version)
"Without faith no one can please God. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he is real and that he rewards those who truly want to find him."
The writer of Hebrews ends his comment regarding Enoch by letting us know how simple it was for Enoch and for us to please God. One must first believe that God is real, that He really wants in on our lives. We must believe that He rewards those who make motion towards Him…and that’s it! Living that way develops in us a belief system, faith, which alters the way we think, act and the way we speak. And as we see in Enoch’s case, it opened the door to the realm of the impossible. When you voice your faith Heaven will not stand still. The toughest of addictions fall off. The darkest prisons of pain and hurt and the deepest tunnels of depression and loneliness are no match for what God is about to do. God is in the business of creating something impossible for those who please Him. As it says in verse 24 of Genesis 5, ‘and he was not, for God took him.’ If you replace that word, ‘he’ with whatever mountain and whatever roadblock holds you back, you’ll see what Enoch saw. When motion is made towards God, He is a rewarder who rewards by creating the impossible: a brand new day and a new life.