How often have you read something in Scripture and thought to yourself, “Why is that there?”
I ran across this passage the other day:
Genesis 5:21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
It comes about 2/3 of the way through the lineage from Adam to Noah in Genesis 5. No further explanation. No further detail. Only that Enoch is singled out as having “walked faithfully with God”.
Why is that?
In fact, only two men are written of in the entire Bible as having not died: Enoch, who “walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away”; and Elijah, who was taken when, “suddenly a chariot of fire appeared, drawn by horses of fire. It drove between the two men, separating them, and Elijah was carried by a whirlwind into heaven.” (2 Kings 2:11)
Why is that?
Two other notable places Enoch is mentioned is within Luke 3, on the lineage from Adam to Christ; and in the “hall of faith” passages of Hebrews 11 where it says, “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. And it is impossible to please God without faith.” (Hebrews 11:5-6a)
Enoch walked faithfully with God. Enoch was taken away by God without death.
What can we learn today from Enoch?
What can we take to heart from Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11 concerning Enoch; and concerning ourselves?
Why is that there?
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
(Isaiah 55:2 ESV)
It’s been a year now, since I stepped out on faith; on what I called at the time “The Great Adventure”; walked away from a job that was lucrative by the world’s standards but was draining the very life out of my family, myself and my soul.
Recently, I was told by someone in our home group what an inspiration my wife and I were for doing this ‘stepping out on faith’ thing like we have. After all, when I decided to give my notice at work, I had nothing to go to; no back-up plan; nothing but the hope in the steps we were taking were the steps God was asking us to take. We had no idea where we were going. Only that we were being asked (told) to go.
“I don’t feel like an inspiration,” I think was my response. “ ’Cuz I have no idea what I’m doing!”
Maybe that’s the point, though.
Maybe God’s answer is, “Yeah, but I do!”
Often, what appears to be so counter to the world’s way is the exact path God is asking you to walk.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
(Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)
Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24 NLT)
For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. (Romans 8:19)
My wife and I have remarked to one another on several occasions how we’ll probably be very surprised on the day we reach heaven, on who we see there and who we don’t. A lot of “very nice people” we fear are going to be very disappointed people. And those who we’ve made snap decisions of their personalities, their contributions, their status or their very salvation will astonish us by their presence. Astonish us, but not them. Astonish us, but not God.
As C.S. Lewis writes, “What can you ever really know of other people’s souls–of their temptations, their opportunities, their struggles? One soul in the whole creation you do know, and it is the only one who’s fate is placed in your hands.”
For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. (Matthew 7:2)
Why were we created?
Bring my sons from afar
and my daughters from
the ends of the earth–
everyone who is called by
whom I created for my
whom I formed and
made.” (Isaiah 43:6-7)
We were made for God’s glory; for the glory of the Almighty Creator of the universe. What does that mean to you? What does that look like in your life?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
Even when you’re eatin’ pizza and hangin’ out with friends tonight, do it in a way that glorifies God. Maybe give that last piece (even though it looks sssooooooo good) away to that meek friend who’s too shy to ask for it. Maybe watch your language and the innuendo’s a little more in front of the opposite sex, or your friend’s impressionable little sibling.
You’re God’s kid!
Act like it!