My first few real Bibles (you know, the ones that have Jesus’ words in red and aren’t broken down into Bible stories instead of books…) bear the scars of an over eager highlighter hand and a juvenile view of what was meaningful enough to underscore with some neon yellow marker.
I remember coloring over large sections of Genesis and Leviticus thinking any verse with the words “Abraham” or “law” in it must be important and thus worthy of some highlighter love. This is not to say that family histories and Biblical statutes are not important, just that I was making the Pentateuch look more like Joseph’s technicolor dream coat than a thoughtfully underlined patchwork of spiritually significant passages.
I was thinking of my highlighting habits this morning after reading a person’s story that I really want to remember – and it happened to be in a genealogy. His name is Enoch and I want to be just like him when I grow up…
The genealogy recorded in Genesis 5 lists the first 10 generations from Adam to Noah:
These men’s years are recounted in a systematic breakdown by
1. years lived before first son
2. name of son
3. years lived after first son
4. total years lived
1. 90 years – lived
2. Cainan – begot
3. 815 years – lived
4. 905 years – all the days of said person
Kinda boring. Then, six generations in of living and begetting, living and begetting, Enoch appears on the scene. His life starts out pretty normal. He lives 65 years and then begets Methuselah. But Enoch didn’t just resume living after begetting (I really like that word) his son.
Enoch “walked with God.” For 300 years he walked with God and then – boop – Enoch was no more “for God took him.” And the other generations keep right on living and begetting as usual.
While some people in the Hall of Faith, found in Hebrews 11, have whole books devoted to their story, Enoch’s story gets a mere 6 verses in the middle of a genealogy. But the simplicity of his life’s example makes a large statement about what matters to God.
Hebrews 11:5 retells Enoch’s story, saying: “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’ for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.”
The man so pleased his Heavenly Father with his faith that God spared him a physical death.
That alone is awesome – for God to desire your presence in heaven so much He doesn’t wait until nature takes its course, but plucks you right off the Earth in an instant. Just wow.
But what I love about Enoch’s life the most (and what I covet for my own life) is that he was remembered for pleasing God. Enoch’s testimony, the evidence of his faith, was that he walked with the Lord and it pleased his Abba.