Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Enoch: A Prophet in the Pre-Flood World - Genesis 5:21-24

Enoch lived sixty-five years, and became the father of Methuselah. Then Enoch walked with God three hundred years after he became the father of Methuselah, and he had other sons and daughters. So all the days of Enoch were three hundred and sixty-five years. Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24)
Other than Elijah, Enoch is the only known man to ever escape death. Because of this, people throughout history have been curious to learn more about this man. Through careful inspection of this passage and a passage in Jude, a better understanding of this man can be developed.

Enoch was a prophet; he was a man who proclaimed God's truth. After the flood, God sent many more prophets to proclaim truth to men. Samuel and Isaiah. Jeremiah and Ezekiel... Think of all the prophets in Scripture who walked with God for well under 100 years. Think of all their labor and pain. Think of how much they must have longed to simply depart and be with God. And now think of the fact that Enoch walked with God for 300 years (at least)! His eyes must have been firmly fixed on eternity.

In the New Testament, the book of Jude provides insight into Enoch's message:
It was also about these men that Enoch, in the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied, saying, "Behold, the Lord came with many thousands of His holy ones, to execute judgment upon all, and to convict all the ungodly of all their ungodly deeds which they have done in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." (Jude 14-15)
Enoch could be considered the second mentioned prophet in Scripture (Jesus said Abel was the first — Luke 11:50-51). Like other prophets, Enoch proclaimed a message of judgment to a wicked world. Although men lived longer in the pre-flood world, it did not make them any less wicked. On the contrary, it gave men the opportunity to rebel longer and heap more judgement upon themselves.

As in all generations, God had a righteous remnant. In Elijah's time, Elijah wasn't the only righteous man, but God had kept 7000 others (Romans 11:4). And so it seems unlikely that Enoch was the only righteous man in his time. Regardless, he certainly seems to be one of the most significant figures of early human history— a man who preached the justice of God in a chaotic world.

Related Posts:
Methuselah: The Oldest Person (969 Short Years) - Genesis 5:25-27
The Genealogy: Adam to Noah - Genesis 5
The Genealogy Introduced - Genesis 5:1-2
Summary of Genesis 4
How Bad Is Sin? (Part 1)

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