Genesis 5:21-6:10 “Enoch & Noah Walked with God-Are We?”

Posted on November 16, 2008. Filed under: Genesis: Answers to Life's Crucial Questions |

Redeemer Church Sunday School

Genesis: Answers to Life’s Crucial Questions

Genesis 5:21-6:10 “Enoch & Noah Walked with God-Are We?”

Sunday, November 16, 2008

 

Introduction: As we have studied Genesis for almost a year now, you know that I like to not only ask the hard questions about the text and our life, but I like to ask what I call the Crucial Questions. In our test today I find a Crucial Question: Are we walking with God? Follow up questions would be: What does it mean to walk with God? How can I walk with God? Do I even want to walk with God? Sometimes in our verse by verse journey through this marvelous book, we need to stop, slow down and focus on one word or one phrase, one idea. Today it is the concept of walking with God.

 

Just two weeks ago we had our annual Reformation Celebration and one of the emphases this year was the Puritans. One of the characteristics of Puritanism was a desire to bring their faith into every area of life. They wanted all society impacted by their doctrine. I think that for us to walk with God means to live as Jesus lived, where every minute of every day was lived by faith, in communion with the Father through the Spirit according to the Word. It is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and our neighbor as ourselves. This morning let’s look at Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Christ and see what it means to walk with God.

 

I. Enoch

I want to briefly review some of what I have already told you about Enoch. He is seventh in the line from Adam through Seth and that is a position of note, symbolizing completeness perhaps. He is therefore, contrasted with Lamech in the line of Cain, also 7th from Adam. Lamech is violent and boastful, a bigamist with his two wives; but Enoch is known for “walking with God”.  His lifespan is shorter than the others in the list and a typical Jewish understanding of that would mean that Enoch was not as blessed as the others. But Moses emphasizes his righteousness by stating twice that he walked with God and even the number of his years, 365, reflects fullness or completeness, matching the number of days in a year.

 

The way that Moses breaks the pattern of the genealogy formula also calls attention to Enoch. Instead of saying, like all the others, “Enoch lived after he fathered Methuselah…” it says, “Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah”. And, obviously, instead of “…and he died” it reads, “Enoch walked with God (again), and he was not, for God took him.”  

 

So by placement in the genealogy, by the number of years he lived, and by the story he tells of Enoch, this was a most unusual and blessed man.

 

II. Moses’ Use of the Idea of Walking with God

Looking ahead to Gen. 6:9 we see that Noah also, was one who “walked with God”. And even further into Genesis we see Abraham in 17:1 commanded by the Lord to “walk before me, and be blameless.” In ch.24 is the story of Abraham’s servant going back to Abraham’s homeland to find a wife for Isaac. When he gets to the home of Laban he tells of his master Abraham, (vs.40) “The Lord, before whom I have walked, will send his angel with you and prosper your way.” Abraham, then, claims to have walked with God and the servant relayed that to Laban. In ch.48 Jacob is nearing his death and he states, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked…” (v.15).

 

Later in the Pentateuch, Moses develops this idea some more, but with a bit of an interesting twist. In Exodus 33:1-3 the Lord tells Moses that they are to go to the Promised Land, but he will not go with them, he will only send his angel before them. Look at vs. 4 “When the people heard this disastrous word, they mourned…” then look at vss.5-6. In vss.12-23 Moses intercedes for the people before the Lord and the Lord agrees to go with the people. Moses then asks to see the glory of the Lord and he is hid in the cleft of the Rock.

 

Again in the Pentateuch, this time in Lev. 26:1-13 and Deut. 23:12-14 Moses brings up this idea of God walking with us.

 

QQ: Now, in looking at these verses about Abraham, Moses and Israel, what can you tell me about walking with God? How does all this relate back to Gen. 3:8?

 

Summary of points 1, 2: Moses introduced a theme back in Gen. 3 of the Lord walking with his people, of dwelling in the presence of his people. After Adam’s sin that privilege was lost, but in Enoch we see someone who lived the ideal, and walked with God. Noah too walked with God and Moses uses that theme now with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Exodus-Deuteronomy the emphasis is on God dwelling with Israel; God dwelling with man once again. The curse of Gen. 3 is gradually being overcome as promised. Here then, we one of the Great Themes of the whole of Scripture because we can now take that theme and look immediately to Christ, Immanuel- God with us.

 

III. On Walking with God

In Matt.1:21-23 Joseph is told by the angel to call the baby, Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. In vss22-23 a prophecy from Isaiah is quoted referring to Jesus as Immanuel, which means, God with us. The rest of the gospel story is about God the Son being with us and dying for our sins so that we might dwell with him forever. The theme of walking with God and God walking with us returns. Let’s now look at how we can walk with God.

 

  1. Our Walk with God begins with His Calling us. Our walking with God begins with the call of Christ upon our lives. In Mk.1:16-20 Jesus approaches Peter, Andrew, James and John beside the Sea of Galilee and issues a divine, sovereign summons to them: “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. The initiative is always with God, Christ comes to the 4 fishermen, not vice versa. Christ calls them, they don’t seek him out. He calls them with the divine prerogative.
  2. Our Obligation is to immediately respond to his call. The disciples left all to follow Jesus and they followed immediately. To walk with God then implies a total and immediate response. That is faith! Faith and obedience go hand in hand. I imagine that old Enoch was walking with the Lord one day, and the Lord said to him, “Enoch, why don’t you come to my place for lunch today? And he did not hesitate, he said, “Yes Lord!” And that day Enoch was not, for the Lord took him. Instant obedience, following the Lord unhesitatingly.
  3. To Walk with God is to love him with everything we are and have. Mark 12:29-30 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Jesus here quotes the Shema from Deut.6. It starts with a doctrinal statement, the Lord is one. You cannot love the Lord if you have a wrong understanding of who the Lord is. Sound doctrine is essential for loving God. You can have all kinds of emotion, love and excitement but for a god of your own imagination; that would be a false god, an idol. To love the Lord with all our heart and soul, our wills and emotions, it is to be strong, willful, emotional love. But with our minds too, means that we must apply our intellect to our faith. To walk with Christ is to be a warm, emotional walk, but also a rigorous intellectual endeavor. He gave you a mind, use it for his glory! Strength- love God with all your body and energy. To follow Christ, to walk with the Lord is to be vigorous and manly; it will take courage and perseverance. Sometimes including persecution and suffering, deprivation and in pain or illness. Even a cross.
  4. To Walk with Christ includes loving our neighbor as ourselves. The second commandment in Mk.12 is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” I imagine that old Enoch was a very loving, kind, meek, man. He was probably well respected and liked because he loved his neighbor as himself. His neighbors missed him. “Where did old Enoch go?” He did not have a chance to say good-bye! Jesus tells the story recorded in Luke 10 of the Good Samaritan who exemplified loving one’s neighbor. The idea is embodied in what is known as the Golden Rule in the Sermon on the Mount, Matt.7:12 “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.”

 

Let’s look at some more of the particulars of following Jesus, of walking with God, dwelling in the presence of the Almighty.

 

  1. Gal.5:16 “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” When we walk by the Spirit we are living with the realization that God dwells in us, Christ is with us in his Spirit. He empowers us to walk with God, to walk in obedience. Now I am not real sure how the Holy Spirit worked in the OT believers, there is some evidence that he worked differently then than he does with us, but I am not sure. Notice that if we walk by the Spirit we will be abstaining from sin.
  2. 2Cor. 5:7 “walk by faith not by sight.” We cannot walk with Jesus on our own, in our own power or strength. This is a walk of faith. Heb. 11:5 “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he would 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. 6. And without faith it is impossible to please him…” Again back in Genesis 15:6 “And he (Abraham) believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness.” And Paul reminds us in Romans 14:23 “For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.”
  3. 1Cor.11:1 “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” and Eph.5:1 “Therefore, be imitators of God…” Old Enoch walked with God so much that he imitated what he saw in the Lord. Just like little children pick up the mannerisms and speech patterns of their parents, or when they are adolescents of their heroes and peers- so too we should imitate Jesus. That means we should spend much time with Jesus. Heb.12:1,2 “…let us lay aside every weight and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, (fix our eyes on Jesus), the founder and perfecter of our faith…”
  4. Matt.5:3-16, and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount.

 

What are some of the specific practices we need to cultivate to walk with Jesus?

  1. Worship- Psalm 122:1 “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord!”  Psalm 27:4 “One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.” Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” Hebrews 10:24-25 “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.”
  2. Intake of the Word-

      http://www.navigators.org/us/resources/illustrations/items/The%20Word%20Hand

Hear the Word, Romans 10:17 “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the Word of       Christ.”  Read the Word, Rev. 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.” Study the Word, Acts 17:11 “Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.” Memorize the Word, Psalm 119:9, 11 “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word….I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” Meditate on the Word, Psalm 1:2-3 “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.”

  1. Prayer-

http://www.navigators.org/us/resources/illustrations/items/prayerhand

Confession, 1John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Petition, Phil. 4:6-7 “do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Intercession. Ephesians 6:18, 19 “praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me….” Thanksgiving, Ephesians 5:20 “giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Praise, Psalm 146:1-2 “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! I will praise the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.”

  1. Fellowship-

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

  1. Witnessing-

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 http://www.navigators.org/us/resources/illustrations/items/The%20Wheel%20-%20Illustration

(note: though I have referenced the Navigators on these illustrations, I have condensed the illustrations and changed a couple of Scripture references.)

 

Conclusion: These things do not make you a Christian, only God can convert your soul and bring new life to you. But these things are the normal means by which the Holy Spirit sanctifies you, conforming you to the image of the Son. If you want to walk with the Lord as Enoch did, if you want to follow Jesus and be a disciple, these means will be of great assistance.

 

Too many times we all get complacent in our faith and our walk more closely resembles slumber. We have a high calling, let us fix our eyes on Jesus and walk with Him.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

    About

    This blog exists to study the bi-vocational ministry, explore the Bible & Theology, and look at current events, history and other world religions through scripture, and have fun doing it!

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: