These last few months I have been using The Message for my 90 day reading cycle. I have a theological crush on Eugene Peterson, so I figured it was time to give the paraphrase a chance. Some folks knock The Message. It has worked very well for me. I want to share with you just one of the great little joys I have found.
Genesis 5 is one of the family tree (or begat) passages. Most folks quickly skip over these. They tend to get boring and unless you really understand what is going on, they appear to be almost useless. I will save my thoughts on their necessity for a later post...
Genesis 5:24 is a great little nugget.
We really don't hear much else about Enoch. The best understanding really comes from Hebrews 11:5-6 (NLT)
Heb. 11:5 It was by faith that Enoch was taken up to heaven without dying—“he disappeared, because God took him.” For before he was taken up, he was known as a person who pleased God. 11:6 And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
While there is some pretty awesome linguistic and literary parallels going on in Gen 5 (7th son line...compared to 7th son of Cain, you know..cool bible geek stuff), the lesson here really is about faith.
Enoch had it.
He had TONS of it. He walked steadily.
When you understand death comes as a curse and consequence of sin and the fact the writer told us Enoch DIDN'T die, something has to be said.
What type of life do we have for God to take us away from death? The whole thing is pretty dramatic. So in the middle of a huge list of people's names, children and age at death, the writer of the Genesis tells us about a man whose faith is so great God simply took him.
Sandwiched between the story of the Fall into Sin, Cain and Abel and the story about the world going completely too crazy town with Noah being the last man standing...we hear about a guy who walked steadily with God.
We don't get much information because I imagine there wasn't that much to say. Enoch was so focused and faithful God is what shone through...and not him.
Friends-we need to be walking steadily.