"And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Genesis 5:24).
Genesis 5 presents us with “the book of the generations of Adam” through the line of Seth (v. 1).
One name that stands out is Enoch the seventh in this line (cf. Jude 1:14-15). The name Enoch means “dedication” or “consecration.” This was also the name of Cain’s son, after whom he named the city he had built (4:17).
The distinctive thing about Enoch is first noted in v. 22: “And Enoch walked with God.” He did not just live, but he walked with God. He had not only natural life, but also spiritual life.
The language of walking with God is figurative for one who shares in an intimate communion with God. Enoch was a peculiarly godly man, a spiritual giant among the men of his times.
Matthew Henry explains that “to walk with God” means, “to set Him before us, and to act as if we were always under His eye… It is to make God’s word our rule and His glory our end in all our actions. It is to make it our constant care and endeavor in everything to please God, and in nothing to offend him.”
Matthew Poole said of Enoch: "He lived as one whose eye was continually upon God; whose care and constant course and business it was to please God, and to imitate him, and to maintain acquaintance and communion with him; as one devoted to God's service and wholly governed by his will. He walked not with men of that wicked age, or as they walked, but being a prophet and preacher…. with great zeal and courage he protected and preached against their evil practices, and boldly owned God and his ways in the midst of them.”
The description of every other man in the line of Adam ends with the statement, “and he died,” but it does not say this of Enoch. Instead, we read in v. 24: “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.”
The meaning of what happened to Enoch is explained in Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
Enoch was, thus, one of the two men who are mentioned in the OT who did not taste death but were taken by God before experiencing its pain and terror. The other was the prophet Elijah (see 2 Kings 11:11-12). The theologians call this experience an apotheosis.
This account gives hope to all of us, who, like Enoch, have remaining corruptions within us, that we may still seek holiness of life and communion with God as did righteous Enoch.
As Paul exhorted believers in Colossians 2:6, “As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.”
So, let us join ourselves to Christ and walk in him.
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle