Any reader of the fifth chapter of the Word of God, which lists the life of ten men, is caused to pause when the seventh man following Adam, Enoch, is noted. He had a son, Methuselah, who lived until he was 969 years of age, but of Enoch, the record is that he "was not; for God took him" (v.24) after he had lived 365 years. The shortest life span of the other nine was that of Lamech, which was 777 years.
It must not be thought that an "early" departure of Enoch by death was due to his life being a sad failure. The writer of the book of the Hebrews tells us otherwise: "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death…because God had translated him" and, "…for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God" (Heb 11.5).
A statement penned by the prophet Amos asked the question, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" (3.3), and the response is clearly negative (3.4)! Such a character was not that of Enoch; nothing stood him at a distance from his God. That nearness to Him would have been a daily delight. The record in Genesis 5.18-24 tell us that he "walked with God".
What features, therefore, can be seen in a man of this character. First, as has been noted, he pleased God. He was a godly man. What a joy this would be in heaven. As we turn daily to the pages of Scripture, as time presses into our busy schedules, it is profitable to pause and look again at what the Word of God gives. Let us open the Scriptures into our hearts and minds as we enter the day.
Second, Jude, the writer of the second last book in the Bible, wrote of the seventh man from Adam. Sad it is to see that that generation, although there were many godly in it, also had many ungodly sinners. Enoch, however, was not only a godly man, he was a prophetic man and what he spoke of is now part of the Word of God. As a prophet he stated, "Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints" (Jude v.14). He was the first recorded prophet, and stated that the Lord will "execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him" (v.15). Note the four uses of "ungodly". The man who knew God and walked with God, even as many years passed, had a clear understanding of ungodliness and its growth.
Third, he was a man who did not die. Remarkable though it might appear, he did not leave this earth by dying. The Scriptures are plain here also as has been noted above: "He was not; for God took him" and, "Enoch was translated that he should not see death" (Gen 5.24; Heb 11.5). The departure of Enoch shows us that death is not the only way to leave the world. Up until this present day none other has left this world by this way in the same manner as Enoch. There will, however, come a day, which we know as the "Rapture", when there will be taken from earth every believer in the Lord Jesus, every Christian. Paul describes the great day: "the dead in Christ shall rise first [that is the bodies of those who have died]: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air" (1 Thess 4.16-17). The 17th verse continues with the great prospect that we will thus "ever be with the Lord". With great confidence, however, we state that one man has been taken to be in glory without dying, but in that day yet to come there will be many who go to be with Christ without the experience of death, by way of the Rapture.
There is a challenge today which comes from the life of Enoch. Consider again what already has been read: "Enoch walked with God". How close he was! How caring would he be, what comfort would he have, what challenges would he encounter? As we face a world that is increasingly turning away from the Word of God let us so live and behave that we also can be seen to be walking with God.