By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, “and was not found, because God had taken him”; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:5-6, NKJV)
Enoch lived sixty-five years, and begot Methuselah. After he begot Methuselah, Enoch walked with God three hundred years, and had sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24, NKJV)
Enoch lived a fairly normal and unremarkable life for 65 years, until he became the father of Methuselah. Enoch probably had other children before, and possibly after Methuselah, but they weren’t considered important enough to mention. Even though the Hebrew word translated “he begot” means to “become an ancestor of,” we can be sure that he actually was the immediate father of Methuselah, because of the meaning of his name: “when he dies it shall come” (also “man of the javelin”). In fact, Methuselah lived 969 years, which ends immediately before the flood of Noah. Personally, I believe that it began raining immediately after Methuselah took his last breath.
It should be obvious that Methuselah’s name was a word of prophecy on Enoch’s part, so during the previous 65 years, Enoch had been continually growing closer to the Lord. Either the Lord specifically told Enoch to name his son Methuselah, or Enoch was informed of the impending judgment of mankind and he so named his son as a warning to the world. Noah wasn’t the first to prophesy the flood, Enoch was, and there are those who conjecture that it was actually Enoch who built the Great Pyramid of Giza as a prophetic word of warning to all generations.
After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch dedicated his life completely to the Lord, and probably continually preached to all who would listen (Genesis 4:26). Enoch lived in such close proximity to the Lord that he became one of only two people in the Bible who never died (the other was Elijah, 2 Kings 2:9-14).
So what can we learn about faith from Enoch? First, faith is progressive: we should continually grow closer to the Lord throughout our entire lives. The Lord considers our relationship at the end of our lives as far more important than at any other time in our lives (Ecclesiastes 7:8). Second, faith is an example to all who witness our patient confidence in the midst of uncertain circumstances (Hebrews 11:6). Third, faith is prophetic. A statement of faith is a statement of prophecy: a proclamation of the faithfulness of the Lord, and a prediction of an expected outcome of a situation. A spoken word of faith is far more powerful than an unspoken one:
But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” (Romans 10:8-11, NKJV)
Fourth, faith must be persistent, even in the face of opposition:
Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise (Hebrews 10:35-36, NKJV)
Copyright (c) 2008 Jon Straumfjord