By faith Enoch

Hebrews 11.5a

By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. Hebrews 11:5

I have always loved the story of Enoch, a man who so walked with God that the Lord just took him out of this world. Genesis 5:21-24 tells his story:

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died.

The Hebrew name for Enoch is Chanokh which means “dedicated.” We all know that in the Old Testament days a name had meaning for one’s life. I am led to believe that Enoch’s name is our first indicator of his walk with God. Enoch’s life was dedicated to God and he walked faithfully with God.

Now, this would not mean that he lived life as one who never committed sin for we know that would only be Jesus. The verse tells me that Enoch was man who knew how to live in communion with God. A man who knew how to ask forgiveness, make sacrifice for sin (OT requirements), repent, and spend time at the altar.

The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was a father of at least 5 children (note the “s” on the words son and daughter) so he must have had a wife and a busy life. Yet he was a man who was without excuses, was faithful and dedicated to God! Enoch’s life pleased God and one day he was no more, couldn’t be found, disappeared! He was not lost for God took him and commended one who pleased God. 

We are also privileged to know of Enoch’s son, Methuselah. The Scriptures tell us that Enoch was 65 years old when he became father of a baby boy, Methuselah. Methuselah’s name comes from two Hebrews words: muth means “death” and shalach which means to bring, to send forth. Methuselah’s name means to bring forth death, in other words judgment. It is interesting to note that Enoch was Methuselah’s father and God was sending a prophetic message of impending judgment in Enoch’s day through his son’s name.

So we are able to take note that at the time of Enoch’s dedicated, faithful, and pleasing walk with God things were not too pretty on the earth. So much so that God used Methuselah’s birth and life to warn of impending judgment. Methuselah lived 969 years…that would be 969 years of grace, mercy, opportunities to repent and turn back to God. When Methuselah died, the flood came.

Now the earth was corrupt in God’s sight, and the earth was filled with violence. 12 And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. 13 And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Genesis 6:11-14.

I know, I know, I know…this is longer than you want to read but I’m trying to lay the background for a couple of meditative questions for you and for me.

  1.  I note that Scripture specifically states, After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years.” SSSSssssoooo Enoch lived 65 years before his faithful walk. At the age of 65, Enoch experienced a heart change that caused his walk with God to become faithful, that caused him to live according to his name – “dedicated” to God. Was it the prophetic warning of his son’s name, Methuselah? Was it the birth of a child and the responsibility to raise him in the fear and admonition of the Lord? Was it that the culture at the time revealed the need for a personal and intimate relationship with God that would be a witness to his children? We don’t know but I do know that the Genesis 6 verses sound very similar to the times of today. The question is what does your life, my life tell our children and present generation about God and culture? Does our walk with God display the self-focused, self-indulgence, self-exalting, selfishness of this present culture or display the beautiful, wonderful, magnificent attributes and character of God? The God worthy of our love, dedication, and sacrifice!
  2. The Scriptures above give testimony of Enoch and Methuselah’s lives. When all here is said and done, what testimony will we leave behind…that we walked faithfully with God? Pleasing to God? Though our lives were not perfect, when we were convicted of sin that we were in a hurry to repent? Will our very lives give testimony to the judgement to come?
    • But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5b

O Father, How we praise, honor, and bless Your Holy Name! Wash us by Your Spirit and Word that You would commend us as one who pleases You!
In Jesus Name, Amen!

Hebrews 11.5b

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By faith Abel

Hebrews 11.5

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. Hebrews 11:5

The writer of Hebrews now begins to give the readers illustrations of great men and women of faith. He begins with Abel. We find Abel’s story in Genesis 4:3-7:

In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is contrary to you, but you must rule over it.”

When reading the story of Cain and Abel, there is always the question as to why Abel’s offering was more acceptable to God than Cain’s. Hebrews 11:5 tells us that Abel’s offering was by faith and Matthew 23:35 tells us that Abel was a righteous man. Abel’s offering came from a heart of obedience. He gave God the first born of his flock and of their fat portions and did so willingly. There is no mumbling and grumbling, it was an offering overflowing out of a heart of faith.

On the overhand, Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the fruit of the ground. The Scriptures do not tell us why but it does tell us that the Lord had no regard for Cain’s offering. Could it be that Cain’s heart was not for God and the all-knowing God was aware?  In fact, 1 John 3 warns us, Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. While we do not know Cain’s heart, the Lord does and He tells us that Cain belonged to the evil one and his actions were evil.

Because Abel’s actions were of faith, they still speak today. His actions speak to us and are worthy our pondering today. Are we people of faith with hearts of obedience? Can we be counted among those who believe and trust the Lord and willingly give Him our best with our whole hearts, and trust Him for the rest?

When we walk by faith, our heart attitude will not begrudge God, murmur when giving our time, tithes, offerings, and service. People of faith understand that God can be trusted with our lives. I will trust in the Lord.

Jeremiah 17.7a

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Hope for today: receive what is promised

HopeTherefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. 37 For, “Yet a little while, and the Coming One will come and will not delay. Hebrews 10:35-37

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Hope for today: love one another

Hope

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us. And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another. And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:4-6

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Hope for today: but on every word

HopeJesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

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Hope for today: strongly engage in battle

HopeTimothy, my son, I am giving you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies previously made about you, so that by them you may strongly engage in battle, 19 having faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and have suffered the shipwreck of their faith. 1 Timothy 18-19

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Hope for today: repent

HopeBut do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:8-9

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Hope for today: love for God

HopeWe know that we have come to know Him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know Him,” but does not do what He commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys His word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in Him: Whoever claims to live in Him must live as Jesus did.
1 John 2:3-6

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Hope for today: walk in truth

HopeBeloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. For I rejoiced greatly when brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, just as you walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth. 3 John 1:2-4

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Hope for today: Trust in the Lord

Hope

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.

Proverbs 3:5-8

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