Portraits of Practiced Faith, II. The Ascension of Enoch

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God (Heb. 11:5).

The story of Enoch is one of the more interesting in the Genesis narrative, not necessarily because of his life, but because he did not see death. We find in Genesis 5 that Enoch walked with the Lord, and he did so all the days of his life by his faith in the Lord. Therefore God was pleased with Enoch, and, in his good pleasure, took Enoch so that he would not die.

The testimony of the life of Enoch is a great one indeed, for Enoch’s taking from this earth by the Lord at the relatively young age of 365 demonstrates, first, where Enoch’s hope rested. Had Enoch desired this life and its present luxuries, he would have likely lived, at those before and after him, past nine hundred years. However, as it was, Enoch’s greatest treasure was the Lord, and the Lord saw fit to give him the desire of his heart, expressly God himself.

Secondly, the narrative of faithful Enoch is the first explicit demonstration in Scripture of the Inheritance that waits for those who walk with God. Since God’s pleasure in the life of Enoch was manifested in Enoch’s being taken from this earth, it shows that the true Inheritance of the Lord does not rest in this life but in the life to come. Therefore, the taking of Enoch exists as a testimony to all those who follow him of the great future that lays in store for those who walk with the Lord in this life.

Thirdly, as did the acceptable offering of Abel, the taking of Enoch testifies to the coming One who would redeem his people from their sins and from the guilt of Adam. For if this Provision was in question, Enoch would not have been taken, for he, being a son of Adam, was by necessity a sinner and guilty before God for his sins and his first father’s sin. However, since God had already ordained a Provision for sin (cf. Gen. 3:15) and because of the certainty of the his Promise, God was able to cast Enoch’s transgressions upon that Provision and take him into Eternal Rest.

Categories: Theology

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