Walking with God

Enoch gets a four-line biography in Genesis which has intrigued people for several thousand years.

In Genesis 5:21-24, the writer says that Enoch was 65 years old before he had a son named Methusaleh.  Then, for the next 300 years, he “walked with God”.  And “then he was no more because God took him away.”

People have wondered what kind of man Enoch was that he was so close to God and that he apparently did not die in the normal way but was taken to be with God for eternity.

Clearly, the people who lived with Enoch noticed something different about him.  Evidently, the first 65 years of his life were unremarkable.  But after the birth of Methusaleh, something changed.

Obviously, it’s impossible to know now what was special about him.  Or, what prompted him to seek God so fervently.

I’m thinking about this now as I look at my own life.

Jesus said the whole law could be summed up in these commandments – love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart and soul and love your neighbour as yourself (Matthew 22:37-40).  Enoch undoubtedly fulfilled these commandments.

As I grow older, I am beginning to see the obvious: Jesus meant what he said when he spoke these words.

I am weak in many ways.  I recognize some of my weaknesses and, over the years, I have tried to deal with them.  My focus has been on self-improvement.  Of course, I usually give up quickly when it becomes hard to improve, using my own strength.

But, if I am to walk with God, I must first love God.  I must truly want what he wants.  As many writers have said, I must want him more than the good things he can do for me.

A good deal of my time in recent years has been spent thinking about God’s love for me.  I believe that as I understand his love for me, I will respond to his love.  I will want to be in his presence.

Along with that, of course, is the question of sacrifice.  If God is to fill my mind, heart and soul, other things will have to take second place – or no place at all.  I don’t like to think about sacrifice because I like the things I have and the things I do too much.

Then, there is the second half of Jesus’ words – loving my neighbour.

Again, this involves sacrifice.  Jesus is quite clear about this in John 15.  It involves giving myself – even to death – for others.

I am humbled as I look around me at others – my wife, included.  I see practical examples of love in everyday life all the time.

When I think of these things, I realize that the path Enoch took is quite clear.  He walked with God because he loved God and he loved others.

That is the path that God is asking me to walk.

 

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