Enoch has two great claims to fame by most people's reckoning. But I'd like to point out a third. It's well known that he was the father of Methuselah, the oldest man to have ever lived. The second claim to Enoch's fame is also well known - he didn't 'die'. But there's a third thing which Enoch should be most admired for: how he walked.
¶ When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.
I'd like to imagine that Enoch literally went walking as he spent time with God. Perhaps he left camp as dusk came and began to talk with Lord for hour upon hour. It is Enoch who lays the foundation for what it means to walk with God. Hour upon hour. Day after day. Year after year. Enoch walked with the God whom he was drawn to and loved to spend time with. He knew something about God that most of us don't. He discovered that walking works a kind a 'magic' between two people. When you walk with someone for some time, you talk. Initially you talk politely, as you should. Weather, work, wonderings, get discussed and clear the way for deeper issues of the heart - delights, desires, dreams. Enoch traveled far and talked deeply. "Enoch walked with God."
It seems that our first parents were created to walk with God. In the beginning, they walked each late afternoon with their Maker. It seems that we are created to follow in our first-parents footsteps and to also walk with God.
¶ And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.
But the tragedy of the Genesis 3 verse which gives us this beautiful insight into mankind's original intimacy with God is that in this instance mankind did not want to walk with God. Instead, they hid. They didn't walk with God because their fellowship with Him was now broken. How we walk with another is a measure of our fellowship with them. If two people were to walk together and not talk to each other, it would surely be an indication that there is a problem. And at the very least it would indicate that the problem was a lack of trust. After all, one is hardly likely to share their heart with someone they cannot trust!
As Christians we have the joy of being invited to walk with God. As we walk with God we talk with God - not just toGod.
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on roses
And the voice I hear falling
On my ear the son of God discloses
And He walks with me and He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
Merle Haggard - He Walks With Me
And in this light, Paul writes to the Colossians and asks them three times to spiritually walk. The first of these is in the opening chapter where he asks them to walk with God in a worthy manner. This kind of walking, he prays for them, comes from knowing God's will which comes knowing and understanding God's Word. This is why coming together each Sunday as the church where the Word of God is taught and explained is so vital to enabling a Christian to walk with God in a manner worthy of the Lord.
¶ And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
The second summons from the Apostle to the Colossians to walk with God is in second chapter where links their spiritual foundations to their walk with God. Just as a knowledge of God's Word is needed to walk well with God, it all starts by having a proper foundation of repentance and faith in Christ.
¶ Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.
The reason someone becomes a follower of Christ will often determine how they follow Christ. If a person was told that in order to go to heaven they must pray a prayer inviting Jesus into their heart, they have a very shallow foundation for their walk with God. To be sure, "inviting Jesus into your heart" (and other non-Biblical ways of describing salvation) does have the benefit of heaven for eternity. But this is not the point of salvation. Would you want to spend eternity in heaven if Jesus wasn't there? The best foundation for walking with God is to realise our true condition before Him and that despite our repulsive state, God still reached out to us in limitless love by sending His only eternal Son to bear our deserved penalties and die in our place and utterly atone for all our guilt and shame. With this realisation we accept God's offer of forgiveness and His gifts of faith and repentance which enable us to put our trust in Christ as our Saviour. This realisation isn't built on an expensive Christian band playing their hit songs during a mega lighting extravaganza in a vast stadium filled with a sea of people. Rather this realisation is an internal transaction that takes place within a person's soul and causes them to adore Jesus.
'When a man admires himself he never adores God.'
Charles Haddon Spurgeon
And Paul's final injunction to the Colossians to walk with God is in his closing chapter. To walk with God must be done in full sight of 'outsiders'. This requires wisdom and focus. It requires focus because this world of outsiders is a world of distractions and divided interests. Those outside of God's Kingdom of devoted followers will do all they can to delay the follower of Christ from walking in step with God. The believer is to therefore not only walk with God wisely before the world, but to also not waste their time with distractions and actually create opportunities to invite outsiders to become insiders.
¶ Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
It is Enoch who introduces our fallen world into a glimpse of what it means to walk with God. To walk with God is to talk with God. To talk openly with God is to trust God. For Enoch, walking with God was entirely delightful and pleasurable. It might be easy for the modern reader to think that this Middle Eastern nomad had plenty of time and a fairly simple lifestyle that made it conducive to walking with God. But in returning to Genesis 5 we notice that after he had Methuselah he had many other sons and daughters. He was a father who had to care for his wife and children by providing food for his large family. Preparing an evening meal would not have been a simple exercise - like it generally is for us today. In fact, the hunting, catching, carrying, butchering, cooking, process would have been a long and tedious daily drama. In the midst of being a husband and father with all this demands on his time, Enoch walked with God!
"Not many of us get on really well with God. We may not actually quarrel with Him; we maintain an attitude of benevolent neutrality; or we dwell in His presence in sullen silence. I have often thought that the most amazing biography ever written is the inspired record concerning Enoch. He walked with God!
No life-story could be more brief; none more exquisitely perfect. There is no superfluous word; you can take nothing from it; add a word and you spoil it. He walked with God and He was not, for God took him. It is Life as it should be: an intimate and harmonious companionship. It is Death as it should be: a swift and painless translation."
Dr. F.W. Boreham, "The Passing of John Broadbanks", 'Gasper's Crag', page 52, 1936
Today, we have three advantages over Enoch when it comes to walking with God. Firstly, we have the written, revealed, will of God which sets forth plainly His plan of redemption. Although Enoch received much revelation from God and even wrote it down for generations to come (see Jude 14) he did not know what we know about God and His Son. Secondly, we have the infilling of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament times the Holy Spirit occasionally came upon people for a specific time and purpose. But in these New Testament times the Holy Spirit permanently abides with, in, and on the believer. Enoch did not experience this. And thirdly, we have the gift of the Christ's Church wherein the Apostle told the Colossians they could be taught the Word of God so they could know the will of God. Enoch did not have this. Thus, we should walk with God - not merely as Enoch enjoyed, but in the promise of an even richer, more satisfying walk. Unlike natural walks, this is the kind of walking that spiritually grows our godliness which is the one thing we take with us from this life into eternity.
for while bodily training (natural walking) is of some value, godliness (spiritual walking) is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.
First Timothy 4:8