A Life of Faith - Lesson from the life of Enoch - Part 1
Last week, we looked at Hebrews chapter 11 and we saw the great heroes of Faith. We looked at just one of them and that’s Abel. Turn with me to Hebrews Chapter 11.
Hebrews 11:1-6 - Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 2 This is what the ancients were commended for. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did. By faith he was commended as righteous, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith Abel still speaks, even though he is dead. 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Last week we looked at the life of Abel. We looked at his life of faith.
Hebrews 11:4 - 4 By faith Abel brought God a better offering than Cain did.
Cain offered a sacrifice and Abel offered a sacrifice. But the Bible says hat God was not pleased by /cain’s sacrifice but pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.
What was the difference between both the sacrifices?
Genesis 4:2-7 - Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. 3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. 4 And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, 5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Here we see that God was not pleased with Cain’s offering but he commended Abel’s offering.
Abel brought the first fruits to God. He brought the fat portions from some of his flock. Cain gave leftovers. That was one difference.
How does that apply to us today? When we give to God in our tithes and offerings, are we giving to God our first fruits or are we going to take care of all our expenses and then give whatever is left?
Secondly, we looked at the spirit in which Abel gave. He gave the fat portions. This means generosity because fat portions are the best portions. Cain brought just some of the fruits of the soil – “God, here are some bananas.”
The result was that Abel was commended hundreds of years later by the writer of Hebrews. What he did was good, and he entered the Hebrews Hall of Fame. Cain was not commended, and the result was that he was cursed.
Genesis 4:11 - Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground,
So, there were 2 brothers and they had 2 different sets of actions.
There’s another bit which I didn’t cover last week. Let me touch upon it a bit.
This is not explicit in the text, but it is implicit in our view of the rest of the scripture.
The offering that Abel gave was a sacrificial lamb. In Leviticus and Numbers, God gave more understanding, and we realize that people sacrificed a lamb as sin offering. So, one of the things the commenters said was that when you give a sin offering, you are acknowledging to God that you are a sinner and God says without the shedding of blood there’s no forgiveness of sins. So, what Abel did was that he recognized that he was a sinner, and a sacrifice needs to be given. For us today, do we need to slaughter a lamb? No!
Jesus was the spotless lamb that was already sacrificed in our place.
This morning we are going to look at Enoch.
Hebrews 11:5 - 5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
WOW! All these people’s names are listed here in this chapter because they did something. They knew their God. They had faith and they did something. What did Abel do? He offered and acceptable sacrifice. What did Enoch do?
He was commended as one who pleased God.
Hebrews 11:6 - And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
What did Enoch do to please God?
In Genesis chapter 5 we observe this –
Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died. Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died. Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died. Kenan lived a total of 910 years, and then he died. Mahalalel lived a total of 895 years, and then he died. Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died.
Genesis 5:21-24 - 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.
WOW! All the other descendants of Adam lived, had children, and then died. But Enoch was special. He walked with God. Hoe long did he walk with God? For 300 years. That’s a long walk. God was pleased with him because he walked with him. God was so pleased with him that he didn’t let him suffer death, but he just took him with him to heaven. Wow! Amazing!
The Bible speaks about other people who walked with God. It speaks about Abraham.
Genesis 17:1 - When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty[a]; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 48:15 - 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
In pre-history, Genesis 6:8-9 - 8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord.9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.
Adam walked with God at one time.
Genesis 3:8 - 8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
So, the custom was that God, Adam and Eve walked together in the garden but when sin came, Adam and Eve were cast out.
Now, the question for us is this – Are you walking with God?
One of the ways we please God is by walking with God. What does it mean to walk with God?
As we don’t have enough time to cover this, let me just give this as an introduction for our next Sunday.
God was pleased with Enoch because Enoch walked with God.
We see that the great heroes of faith – Abraham walked with God, Noah walked with God, Enoch walked with God and other walked with God.
What does it mean to walk with God?
In the New Testament, walking with God is taken a step further. For Adam it was literal – walking with God in the garden. For us it is spiritual – walking by the Spirit.
Let me just give a couple of things what it means to walk with God.
1. We are close to God – Speaks about intimacy and relationship with God. Sometimes, I go for a walk in the park. There are dozens of people walking in the park. In a way we are all walking together. But are we really walking together? No, there’s no connection at all. With God it is about closeness, connection, and relationship. We need to have a relationship with God. That relationship comes with faith in Jesus Christ alone.
John 14:6 - 6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
2. Communication – Speaking to God. Abraham, Noah and all the others communicated with God. Now, today, we are privileged to the whole Bible. One of the way God speaks to us is through Bible. If you want to develop your relationship with God, we need to be a people who are reading His Word. God speaks to us through His Word. As Christians, we need to take time everyday to communicate with God.
Mark 1:35 - 35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Jesus fellowshipped with God early in the morning.
In order to walk with God, we must develop a relationship with God, read His Word. Read one chapter a day. God’s Word is the Living Word. You may not remember what you read but it is planted within you.
3. Prayer – Talk to God – We pray for different thigs that are posted om the groups. We pray for our families. Prayer cultivates humility – saying “God apart from you we can do nothing”
We will continue this next week.
Just to conclude, God was pleased with Enoch. What was so special about Enoch? Enoch walked with God. God wants you to walk with him as well. It starts with your relationship with him, it continues with reading His Word and then we talk to him based on what he says and bring our needs before him. It results in us being obedient to him. That’s the full cycle.
If you have neglected reading God’s Word or Prayer, I understand that we go through seasons. But come back to God. He’s waiting to walk with you and talk with you.
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