“And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” Genesis 5:24
You have heard that Enoch walked with God, and you know it is an expression of great praise. Let me give you a clear notion of its meaning because people often get a habit of using words without exactly knowing what those words mean.
A man who walks with God is one of God’s friends. He feels perfectly reconciled and at peace with Him. He is not uncomfortable at the idea of being alone with God but seeks to be in constant communion with Him. He feels that he cannot be too much with Him, because he desires to be of the same mind, to think like Him, to act like Him, to be conformed to His image. Such a one was Enoch.
He who walks with God is one of God’s dear children. He looks upon Him as his Father; and as such he loves Him, reveres Him, rejoices in Him, and trusts Him in everything. He makes it his constant aim to please Him. He thinks that God knows better than himself what is good for him, and so in everything that happens — sickness or health, sorrow or joy, riches or poverty — he says to himself, “It is well. My Father sends this.” Such a one was Enoch.
He who walks with God is one of God’s witnesses. He never hesitates to stand forward on the Lord’s side. He is not content with giving his own heart to God, but he is also ready and willing to bear his testimony in public on behalf of the cause of righteousness and truth. He is not ashamed to let men know whose servant he is. He will not be turned aside from raising his voice against sin for fear of giving offence. Such a one was Enoch.
No doubt there were many great, many wise, and many noble men in the days before the flood. But all we know of them is that they lived, they begat sons and daughters, and they died. Of Enoch only is it written that he walked with God. Dear brethren, walking with God is the only talent which will never fail us, the only treasure which will prove eternal, the only character which will serve us beyond the grave. In the day when names, titles, and honours shall sink to nothing, when all mankind shall stand on the same level, the most humble in the land shall be more highly honoured than the mighty and the rich if he has walked with God and they have not. The first shall be last and the last first.
And what was the secret cause, the hidden spring and principle which influenced Enoch to walk with God? The author of Hebrews tells us that it was faith. Faith was the seed which bore such goodly fruit. Faith was the root of his holiness and decision to be on the Lord’s side. Enoch believed that God had graciously provided a way of salvation, that He had appointed a great Redeemer to bear our sins and carry our transgressions. He looked far forward, and in his mind’s eye he saw the Messiah who was yet to come to pay the ransom of the world, and he built all his hopes on Him. Enoch believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
And Enoch believed that God would one day come to judge the world and give to all men according to their works. Though iniquity abounded and the love of many grew cold, and all things seemed to go on as if God took no notice of the earth, he still believed the Lord would come to take account in such an hour as no one expected Him. In faith he saw the judgment close at hand, and he walked with God as one waiting for it. By faith he saw that heaven was his only home, and in the Lord’s presence alone was fulness of joy.
Such was the ruling principle which possessed this holy man of old. Oh, that you would pray earnestly for a like precious faith! Without it you will never walk in Enoch’s way, and so will never come to Enoch’s end. – J.C. Ryle