Genesis 5-7: Two Men Who Walked With God
We have seen two men who walked with the Devil- Adam and Cain. Now consider two men who walked with God-Enoch and Noah.
In Chapter 5, we read the expression “and he died” eight times. But right in the middle of that chapter, we read of one who did not die at all!! That was Enoch. He walked with God and God took him. To heaven alive. That is a picture of Resurrection life in the midst of death. Enoch was a man who lived in resurrection power, overcame death and was taken up to heaven- a picture of a godly Church living in the midst of spiritual death, overcoming by resurrection power and finally “being caught up into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord. “ I Thessalonians 4:17
Enoch was probably a godless man for the first 65 years of his life. But at 65 he got a son. Hen named the boy Methuselah, by divine revelation. “Methuselah” means “At his death, the waters will come forth.” that seems to indicate that God gave Enoch a revelation when his son was born. God told Enoch that when that son died, the world would be judged by a flood of waters. That revelation came first to Enoch and not to Noah. So he named his son Methuselah.
Now when you ave a baby, you don't know long he will live. So every time Methuselah was sick, Enoch would have wondered whether the time for judgment was near. Can you imagine a baby having a name that means, “At his death the flood will come”? Each time you called him, you would be reminded of judgment. And that fear of God's judgment made Enoch walk with God and realize that the things of eternity were more important than the things of time. That was the crisis that made Enoch walk with God every day for the next 300 years.
The Bible says, “the world passeth away” (I John 2:17). If we believe that, we too will realize, as Enoch did, that the things of eternity are more important than the things of time.
God's tremendous longsuffering with man is seen in the fact that He allowed Methuselah to love longer than any other human being-969 years.
For 969 years, whenever people heard Methuselah's name, they heard a message of judgment to come. But the people rejected the message. It was not only Noah who preached about this judgment. Enoch preached it for 300 years too and Methuselah preached it by his name for another 669 years.
Noah also walked with God and preached about judgment for the last 120 years of Methuselah's life. Enoch and Methuselah did not know the details of the flood as clearly as God late revealed to Noah. But they knew that some type of judgment connected with a food of waters was going to come when Methuselah died.
Jude tells us that Enoch prophesied judgment against all the ungodly people of his time. (Jude vs 14-15). Enoch was a prophet and he walked with God. Adam was 622 years old when Enoch was born, and died at the of 930 (5:5-23). So Enoch must have often asked Adam about how things were in Eden where Adam himself had once walked with God. And Enoch must have had a great longing to walk with God himself. Enoch became the first man to prove that one could walk with God outside Eden too, Even agter sin came into the world, man could walk with God.
I've met a lot of great Preachers and Priest in my life, but I have met very few Priest or Preachers in my life, who produced a longing in my heart from my younger days, to walk with God myself.
Methuselah's grandson was Noah. And Noah lived with Methuselah for 600 years. He must have asked Methuselah many times about how Enoch had walked with God. Into Noah's heart came a longing to walk with God himself. We read in 6:9 that Noah also walked with God. As Noah walked with God, God revealed His purpose of judgment to him.
It was the truth against judgement, against sin that God revealed to the first two people who walked with God (in Scripture). And Enoch and Noah faithfully preached that message, even though no one believed them. Every true prophet of God since then has also preached the same message: God will judge believers and unbelievers for their sins.
Enoch and Noah are the first two preachers mentioned in the Bible and they both walked with God. Would to God that every preacher sine then had done the same.
God told Noah to build the ark and Noah immediately began to build it. He did not ask God who was going to pay for the ark. If he had asked God that, God would have told him, “You have to pay for it yourself of course.”
Have you ever heard God tell you that you must pay for the expenses of His work from your own pocket? Most clergy feel that if they do God's work, someone else must pay them for that! But Noah didn't think like that, He supported himself and his family and served the Lord.
Due to the massive abuses of the Televangelists in the 1980s and the gross extravagances of the Prosperity Preachers in the present day, it has become almost impossible to have a biblical conversation about ministry, money and vocation. The New Testament however has a great deal to say on the topic.
Jesus told his disciples:
Freely have you received, freely give. Do not possess gold, nor silver, nor money in your purses: Nor scrip for your journey, nor two coats, nor shoes, nor a staff; for the workman is worthy of his meat. (Matthew 10:8–10)
That paragraph as a whole seems to indicate that those with a spiritual vocation to the priesthood mustn’t look at their calling as a “job” or as a means of getting rich, but they should expect to be supported with what they need for life and ministry.
The Apostle Paul took it that way. He said:
Let the priests that rule well, be esteemed worthy of double honour: especially they who labour in the word and doctrine: For the scripture saith: Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn: and, The labourer is worthy of his reward. (1 Timothy 5:17–18)
He also insisted that:
For a bishop must be above reproach, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre: (Titus 1:7 )
The consistent testimony of the New Testament appears to be that bishops and Priest should make their living from Gospel work.
Preaching, counseling, prayer, and the study of Gods word deserves the largest share of our time and attention and therefore it ought to be the means by which a Bishop and Priest supports himself. But it must not be viewed as a means of gain.
A Priest and Bishop should expect those who are benefiting from his ministry to supply his bodily needs, and to supply that which is needed for effective ministry. Beyond that he should harbor no ambition or greed.
Furthermore, the counsel of the New Testament appears to be that if the people receiving the ministry will not provide those things, that should be taken as an indication of their low esteem for the Gospel and should be received by the pastor of that parish as an invitation to move on.
And if that house be worthy, your peace shall come upon it; but if it be not worthy, your peace shall return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, (I believe that also includes helping to support your pastor), nor hear your words: going forth out of that house or city shake off the dust from your feet. (Matthew 10:13–14)
Now back to Noah.
People must have asked Noah how the animals would come into the ark, Noah knew that that was God's business and not his. Noah only did what he was suppose to do-build the ark. He left all other matters with God. We too have to do only what God has told us to do. We can leave all the impossibilities with God.
Finally we read that God shut the door. (7:16). It was God who shut the door of the ark, not Noah. God will shut the door of salvation one day when the time is up for entering God's kingdom.
Jim was young, strong, and in business for himself. He was financially secure and looking at a successful future – or so he thought!
As a young child he had attended Mass, was baptized as a baby and even Catechized. He had heard from a very young child that god loved him so much. And that Jesus had come to die on the cross for his sins. But his age of accountability he had always put off accepting Jesus as His Lord and Savior for himself, saying, “I have plenty of time. I’m too young and too busy to think about God and religion.”
Once when asked if he was to have died at that very moment, would he be prepared for eternity? He admitted that he’d probably go to hell because he hadn’t had time to give Jesus any thought. When asked if that scared him, he said, “a little bit...sometimes, but I have plenty of time. I’ll take care of that when I get older.”
One year later, his day started out like any other; but it didn’t end that way. While returning from work that night, he collided head-on with another car. Suddenly, the “plenty of time” he thought he had was gone. He never regained consciousness, and never again had the opportunity to give his life over to Jesus as Savior and Lord. God had closed the door to salvation for him. His time to repent was over and now he was to face judgement and eternal hell. Don't put off what you can do today.