The Earth’s population at this point in its history is like that group of friends who start drama among themselves. Then they calm down a bit. Then it starts up again. Then they solve things again and it seems like everybody is cool…until it starts up one more ‘gain. After a while, you just get tired of the nonsense and cut ties – but God didn’t do that to humanity. Like, if there was ever a true “day one”, God is it.
And it’s not even like He grudgingly, reluctantly remains our friends as we keep getting caught up in drama. He’s thoroughly invested in us, no matter what, like a parent. Some of your parents have buried in their closets what some people call a “baby book”. It’s got pictures and measurements and notes and dates and clippings from first haircuts (is that just my family?) and all sorts of different things to commemorate the important moments in your life.
That’s what this chapter of the Bible reminds me of. It’s not really a baby book, but it’s records kept of God’s people. Like a loving parent, God preserved the records and important milestones of His people. In this chapter we are presented the lineage from Adam all the way down to Noah.
The Treasures Within
A Man Called Enoch
This chapter flows smoothly through ages and kids’ names until we get to Enoch. Enoch’s story made me think of a great knock-knock joke, are you ready?
Get it? I promise you that’s a totally original joke (hint: probably not). But seriously, that weird joke is inspired by unusual story. Enoch walked faithfully with God for 300 years. And then “he was no more, because God took him away” (verse 24).
I don’t know if it’s just me, but it’s easy to look at this story and try to imagine how tight I need to be with God to be where Enoch was at. Like, he was an expert at this serving God thing! What level am I at, maybe level 6? What do I need to do to level up?
Of course, that’s the wrong way to look at it because there were plenty of people in the Bible who were very close with God and walked faithfully with Him, but were not taken to heaven. There were people who made a lot of mistakes – people who did NOT walk faithfully with God for 300 years and were taken to heaven! This tells us that what we’ve got here isn’t a secret handshake that unlocks the portal to heaven every time – God simply had a different plan for Enoch than He had for, say, Noah. Or Seth. Or you.
God will do unique things in each of our lives because we are all unique. God made us that way. Just like everyone won’t suddenly be taken away to heaven, everyone won’t be a pastor. Everyone won’t be a missionary overseas. Everyone won’t canvas. And that’s okay. Different is not bad in God’s eyes when it comes to His plans.
Enoch Didn’t Die
Enoch’s story is not just unique in that few other people have experienced what he has. Enoch’s story makes an important distinction between what happened to him and what happened to his ancestors and descendants. Everyone else “lived a total of X years, and then died”. Enoch was “taken away”. The differing language signifies that he went to a different place from the rest of them. If Lamech and Mahalalel and Methuselah and everyone else all went to heaven when they died, where would Enoch have gone? This language would suggest that the rest of them simply rested in their graves, while Enoch was the one that went to heaven.
God’s Message To Us
The details given to us about Enoch and everyone else in this chapter sends one message loud and clear to me: “I know you”. God knows me. God knows you. God knows our pasts, our presents, and our futures. He watches over us, noting each milestone in our lives. He has a record of you and your life that puts your parents’ baby book to shame.
See, God doesn’t just know our names and who our parents are. He really knows us – our likes, our dislikes, our favorite foods, our dreams, our goals, the things that make us laugh, the things that make us cry. He knows who our best friends are and what our best memories are. He knows our favorite places and our favorite music. God legit knows you. He recognizes you, treasures you, and cares for you. We are His priorities and He never forgets us. How can He, when we are written in His heart and on the palms of His hands?
What can we do when confronted with such love? How do we respond to something like this? When someone on earth gives us love, we (most of the time) give them love back. Why not give God our hearts? Why not fight for this relationship? It’s all He wants from us after all. And when we do give ourselves to Him, the only thing about us that He will ever forget is our sins.
There Are Always Questions
- What was it like to live for hundreds of years, I wonder? When we think of people who reach one hundred, we think of thin, withering old people who can barely see. These men in this chapter were hundreds of years old and still having babies! What did they look like? And what did they do with all of that time?
- In verse 3, the Bible specifically says that Seth was Adam’s son “in his own likeness, in his own image”. Why make that distinction? It seems to echo the language we saw in Genesis 1 and 2 when Adam was created by God. Maybe it somehow draws an analogy between the love that comes when you have a child and the love that God has for us, His creations. So much love in this chapter!
- Why did Enoch get taken away? Why did God make that decision? What is Enoch doing in heaven right now? What does he think about iPhones and Donald Trump?
What do you think? How would you answer these questions? What did you notice in this chapter? What do you think God’s message is in this chapter?