June 29, 2022

June 29, 2022

Author: Pastor Gordon Cook
June 29, 2022

Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Genesis 5:22-24

The Christian life is put under a lot of different images. There is a lot of different graphic pictures of how a Christian lives and what a Christian can expect. You have the imagery of warfare in Ephesians 6; the image of a pilgrim, this isn’t our home; you have athletic imagery of running a race and fighting or boxing, Paul picks up that imagery in 1 Thessalonians; the image of marriage, of family. What Paul uses more than any other graphic image is that of walking. Some 30 times he picks up the image of walking; 8 times in Ephesians, 5 times in Romans, 4 times in Corinthians, 3 times in Philippians, 3 times in Colossians, and many more times. He uses expressions like, “We are to walk in the Spirit,” “We are to walk worthy of God,” “We are to walk in the truth,” “We are to walk as children of light,” “We are to walk worthy of our calling,” and Colossians 2, “As you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk you in him.” So we are to walk like Jesus Christ.

Why did Paul use that walking metaphor? He probably did a lot of walking himself and maybe he enjoyed walking. But the better answer is he is making good use of his Old Testament Bible. Next to Jesus there was no one who made better use of the Old Testament than the Apostle Paul. In the book of Romans you see him regularly referring back to his Old Testament Bible quoting Scripture as he seeks to explain the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This graphic metaphor of walking to describe the believer is found in the Old Testament in the book of Proverbs and several instances in the Psalms. We can go all the way back to Genesis where the first time it is used is in reference to God, God walking in the garden. The first person where this graphic image is used is Enoch here in Genesis 5. This was before the flood in what has been called the Antediluvian World. That is the big word for “before the flood.” We know from Genesis 6 just how bad the world was before the flood. Why did God bring the flood? The world was so bad, total depravity, you could say, it was at its worst. We read in Genesis 6, “God saw the evil of mankind was great on the earth; every purpose of the thought of their hearts were only evil.” That is quite a description of human depravity. “Every thought, every purpose of their hearts were only evil”. But in the midst of all of that darkness, Enoch walked with God.

And look how long he lived, 365 years. He could have been saved in his early teens or late teens; we don’t know when he was saved, but he walked with God for 300 years. That’s an encouragement. Think of that, 300 years in the midst of such oppressive darkness. He didn’t get swallowed up in the black hole of darkness.

The concept of walking carries with it fellowship, intimacy, and joy. To walk with God means you stay close to God. That’s the secret, isn’t it? You stay close with God, you’re not running ahead of God, you’re not lagging behind God, you’re walking with God. If we desire to continue our own walk with God we need to be close to God. One of the best ways to stay close to God is prayer. Hebrews says, “draw near to God,” again, language of prayer. As our world gets darker and darker we can trust that God will keep us.

I recently heard the former Attorney General, William Barr, make a statement as he was speaking at the University of Chicago as a keynote speaker say, “Western civilization is facing its deepest crisis since Jesus Christ.” That is quite shocking language. He makes the point that this civilization that we have been blessed to have been part of in the Judeo Christian tradition is increasingly under attack by what he calls, “militant secular forces.”

The Bible does say that we don’t know when it is all going to work itself out, but it does seem to indicate that the closer we get to the end the worse it gets. I think there is a tension, it gets better in some respects but it gets worse. “Iniquity will abound,” says Jesus, “and the love of many will grow cold.” Certainly when we are living in a time when we see increased wickedness and darkness it is easy to get afraid, even for our children. You wonder sometimes, how can anybody make it? Don’t forget Enoch. Enoch walked with God in the darkest of times.

Dr. Piper said, “The older I get, the more urgent my prayers. Preserve me, keep me.” That is something we should be praying. We could pray for walking grace, that God would keep us persevering. He is a God who keeps his people. He is called the keeper of Israel. We need to pray to him that he would show his keeping, preserving mercy as we run this race and as we walk with our God.