One darkened night, a little girl was walking home with her Daddy. As they tramped along the way, she time after time tried to hold with both hands all of her Daddy’s because she was afraid of being detached from him. Lovingly Daddy said, “Don’t worry, Sweetie! Though you can only hold a little of mine, but I can hold the whole of yours.”
One time, in the month of December 2018, at Jakarta Local Conference office on the second floor, one Pastor intentionally raised a question to me. With him there were sitting five of my fellow Pastors too, “Pastor Pakpahan, who is the man with the longest years of life?”
I smiled while my face pointing at to the ceiling to say, “Heaven” with my gesture language. Unfortunately, he didn’t get my signal. But one of the Pastors who was sitting on my right side answered with a loud voice, “Enoch!”
Enoch? Yes, because Enoch is still alive while his son by the name of Metusalah ended his life at 969 years old.
- Enoch’s Life: Walking with God
One of the characteristics of the true prophet is that the fruit of their life should be in harmony with the truth. Jesus warned His disciples, “So by their fruits you will know them” (Mat 7:20). Enoch was a true prophet because he lived a true life and produced the fruits of the truth. One of them was walking with God constantly.
Twice is said Enoch “walked with God” (Gen 5:22, 24). It means he had a very close relationship with God. The word “walk” in Hebrew [הלך, halak] used to describe the relationship between Enoch and God appears in Hithpael stem. This verb stem enriches the meaning of “walking” that Enoch intentionally by himself and for himself makes himself walking. This stem clarifies that the action of walking is done not because of other people or power outside him, but rather it is done by his own will. Because he knew that being separated with God would only bring him no good.
Judas 11 warns, “Woe to them! They followed the way of Cain ….” One of Cain’s children was also named Enoch. But we don’t know much of this third generation. But this Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, chose to walk with God and he did not follow the way of Cain.
- Enoch’s Eternal Life: Translated Alive to Heaven
In the Bible class, one of the children raised a question to the teacher, “Teacher, why did God take Enoch up to heaven?” Hmm, what a question!
The teacher processed the question for a while in her mind to give a very understandable answer to that little girl. After a moment she answered, “The Bible said that Enoch kept walking with God. Because it was far enough from his house, then God just took him up to heaven.”
It is fun to see how language can offer a complete-different meaning with what it should be. Observing a teenager dating couple, a group of mothers said among them, “They go to far! We need to remind them before it’s too late.” What do you think “they go too far” means? It means they go too near to each other. Actually, this was exactly the experience of Enoch walking with God. Too far from his earthly life makes him too near to his heavenly life with God.
Hebrews 11:5 explains, “By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and ‘he was found no more because God had taken him.’ Before he was taken up, he was attested to have pleased God.”
- Enoch’s Prophetic Life: Sermon and His Son’s Name
There is one more important thing we may get from Enoch’s life: his prophetic ministry or his role as a prophet of God. Pardon me? Enoch predicted something before it happened? When? Where? And about what?
Jud 14-15 answers those questions, 14“Enoch, of the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied also about them when he said, ‘Behold, the LORD has come with his countless holy ones 15to execute judgment on all and to convict everyone for all the godless deeds that they committed and for all the harsh words godless sinners have uttered against Him.”
Enoch’s earthly life was short—only 365 years—which stands nothing to the average of ages during antediluvian period. Especially when his 365 years of age is compared with his son’s years of age, Methuselah who lived for almost a millennium.
Furthermore, Ellen G. White explains about the prophetic ministry of Enoch, “Through holy angels God revealed to Enoch His purpose to destroy the world by a flood, and He also opened more fully to him the plan of redemption. By the spirit of prophecy He carried him down through the generations that should live after the Flood, and showed him the great events connected with the second coming of Christ and the end of the world” (Patriarchs and Prophets, 1890, chap. 6, p. 85).
Hidden meaning of the name of Methuselah has been an interesting topic for biblical scholars. There are 2 words used to build this very name: מַת, mat, man and שׁלח, shalakh, to send out/to deliver. Certain biblical scholars of our own (SDA Church) interpret his name as a man who died when something was sent to the earth, which is the flood. This is a prophetic code/signal that Enoch, his father, had given to seal one of his proclamation that the flood would be coming soon after the dead of Methuselah.
When we collabote Ellen G. White’s explanation with the interpretation of Methuselah’s name, we are allowed to think that Enoch, besides giving continuos warnings about the coming of great flood, had made his own son, Methuselah, as a living sermon and a walking prophecy for human beings about the coming of the flood. Please don’t forget too that Jesus used Noahic Flood when He explained about His Second Coming (Matt 24:37-38).
Friends, although we could’t see moreover hold the heavenly Father’s hand especially during this pandemic, but remember that He actually says, “Don’t worry, My child! Though you cannot see mine, but I am holding the whole of yours. Just walk with Me and trust that you will be alright!”