Just three hours from where I grew up is Yosemite National Park, home of one the most magnificent forests on the planet. No matter how many times I visit the giant Sequoias that stand over 30 stories tall, they leave me speechless. The spectacular trees are over 3000 years old. When you walk through the groves, it is like walking through history. Each tree stands as a monument to its survival against the frequent lighting strikes, drought, disease and, worst of all, the snow that can topple a majestic Sequoia.
I am inspired by these trees but also by men and women who have lived faithful lives and refused to be toppled by temptations that have been so common to humanity. The Bible is replete with inspiring testimonies of great men and women. I would like to talk about one of them named Enoch.
Genesis 5:24 “Enoch walked with God; then was no more, because God took him away.”
In a cemetery you find engraved for each person the dates of birth and death and the dashes between the two. The small dashes represent each life as it existed between those two points. We find Enoch had a beginning date, dash, but no ending date. However, there was an incredible comment on the dash, “Enoch walked with God.”
Occasionally I see that someone I know, and sometimes even admire, has abandoned the race and thrown their faith overboard. Every time that happens, I reexamine my priorities. I am in this for the long-haul, and I want to learn from those who finished the race like Enoch.
“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.”
Enoch made the Hall of Fame of Faith and is known as one who pleased God. Hebrews adds that the first ingredient of pleasing God is to have faith. As Enoch’s character bore a striking distinction to the shiftless morality of the fickle people of his day, so does the man or woman of faith stand out today.
Enoch’s faith gave him a grasp of truth. His morality came from God. To believe that truth comes from God will totally set you aside today. Our world has become accustomed to seeing lies presented as truth. To walk with God means to see the wrong that has become accepted as normal and expose it as the distortion it is.
Truth builds convictions which enable us to see our world from God’s perspective. It means we will undoubtedly choose to become nonconformists—by conforming to God’s ways. Our beliefs move beyond beliefs to convictions.
Enoch skipped death and went supernaturally to be with God. Death is the big bully who boasts “nobody leaves this life without first checking in with me.” Enoch and Elijah are two Old Testament examples who escaped death, and that speaks hope to each of us. Another man met death by hanging on a cross and was buried that same day. Early on Sunday morning, he broke the bonds of death and arose from the grave. Because Jesus conquered death and arose from the grave, we have the promise of experiencing the same encounter with God that Enoch had.