Forward in Faith #19
Hebrews 11:5; Genesis 5:18-24
A Walking Faith
Faith is being sure of what we have hoped for and certain of the unseen. Faith is knowing that our creator is also the giver of our Promise.
In the early world, Abel, the 2nd child of Adam and Eve, understood that faith demanded worship. Worship demanded obedience. Faith obeys, believing that God’s Word is true, his way is right, and love requires that obedience.
After Cain and Abel, among other sons and daughters, Adam had a son named Seth. He had a named, Enosh whose son was Kenan, whose son was Mahalalel. He had a son named Jared. Now we know that scripture teaches us that in that age, people lived hundreds of years. So, many children were born in that short number of branches in the family tree. The world was expanding which means things got further away from what God intended. Within a few more branches, after Jared, we will find Noah whom Doc will show us next week.
So, in Genesis 5:18-24 we are introduced to our Hall of Fame of Faith inductee #2, Enoch.
Read with me Genesis 5:18-24.
We don’t know a lot about Enoch but what we know is found in just a few places. This Enoch is only mentioned in 10 verses in Scripture. He is only in 5 books. 1 Chronicles 1 and Luke 3 mention him as part of a genealogy. So everything we know about his life is found in Genesis 5, Hebrews 11, and Jude verses 14 and 15. In Jude it says “Enoch, the 7th from Adam, prophesied about these men: ‘see the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15 to judge everyone and to convict all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.’”
So, apart from his “introduction speech” in Hebrews 11, what do we know about this man Enoch?
We know that he lived 365 years on the earth. A long time? No not really. His Father lived 962 years. His son, Methuselah lived 969 years. He lived 7 years longer than his grandfather and as far as we have record, the oldest man to live. Do I believe those were real years? Yes! Why, because that is what the Bible says.
We know that Enoch was a husband. We know he was a father to at least one son. Probably more. We know, from Jude, that he was a preacher. Perhaps he was the first preacher. The fact that he was a preacher tells us what had happened to the world. He preached a message warning of God’s coming judgment. We know also that he “walked with God”. The Hebrew is halak – to walk, move, proceed, to flow with, to live a manner of life
Remember that Adam and Eve were said to walk with God in the cool of the day. They had an intimate relationship with God. Enoch, too, went with the flow of God. He proceeded in God’s way, walking in the manner of life that reflects intimacy with God.
And do you think that God revealed something to him in those walks? Well, he had a son named Methuselah. Enoch’s name meant, “teacher, dedicated, consecrated.” He walked with God and then named his son a name which means “when he is dead, it will be sent”, or “It will be sent.” What did Enoch know? Well, after Methuselah came, Noah and the flood followed.
So, Enoch knew how to live, what to do, and what was to come, because he walked with God. He had faith, trust, and believed what God told him. Then something unique happened. After 365 years, a little more than 1/3rd the life of his Father, Genesis 5:24 says “he was not” or he was “no longer numbered”. Why, because “God took him”. What does that mean Pastor? Hmm the Hebrew means “take, fetch, lay hold, seize, receive”
Enoch was gone because God decided to receive him to himself. The question is why? And the simple answer is the faith of Enoch by which he walked with God prepared him to be received by God
So, we went a long way for this. But this preacher, in a day when wickedness was growing, who was in the next to last generation before the world was destroyed by flood, walked by faith with God. And so he is our listed 2nd in our book of Hebrews
Read it with me Hebrews 11:5-6
So, how are we to walk by Faith? Three things from our text. The things that are listed as WHY Enoch is among the faithful followers.
We often hear v6, but don’t put it in context of Enoch. He believed in God.
Faith, that is, “placing our trust”
Faith = pistis – trust, trustworthiness … boils down to believe. Faith there is a noun
Believe = pisteuo (verb) to think to be true, to trust
Faith that lives out in intimacy with God must 1st naturally believe … it
“MUST” – that’s an imperative non-negotiable reality of faith
Must “Believe that he exists” = eimi –
Before we walk with him, we obviously have to believe IN him. But there are plenty of people that believe IN God but it doesn’t affect the way they live. The majority of Americans believe IN God and yet they don’t WALK with God
What makes the difference?
It is the word accountability.
Believing that there IS a God doesn’t change people alone.
What changes the way we walk is believing that the God who exists will hold us accountable for the way we walk.
We must believe he exists and
God is a Holy God
God is a Just God, and so
He is a God of Accountability
Walking with God means we believe we are accountable to him
Matthew 12:36 – men will have to give account on the day of judgment
Luke 16:2 teaches us that we are all stewards who have been given things of value by God and we will have to give account for how we manage what we have been given
Romans 14:12 – each of us will give an account of himself to God
Hebrews 4:13 – nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered … we must give account
1 Peter 4:5 – (we) give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead
We learn something here about God. That is that those who reject God believe the lie of satan that all God wants to do is JUDGE us. But Enoch understood something about God. This knowledge caused him to walk by faith. What was this transformational knowledge?
God only judges when we force him to, because what he prefers to do is REWARD us!
Enoch knew something didn’t he? While the world already understood judgment because of disobedience, yet God delights in showing mercy (Micah 7:18). He forgave Adam and Eve through sacrifice. He favored Abel because of Faithful Worship
So Enoch knew that if he came to God, God would receive him not reject him
Jesus said in John 6:37 “all that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me, I will never cast out”
The literal translation of this part of Heb 11:6 is to those seeking him, he becometh a Rewarder
God only judges those who refuse to come to him.
Folks that is good news!
Learn from Enoch today! Satan has convinced many that if they come to Jesus he will reject them, but that is a LIE!
If you reject him, he will let you have what you choose i.e. separation from him
But if you come to him, he will give you a reward of an intimate relationship with him
Jesus says come hungry ones and I will fill you with good things
Come Thirsty and I will give you to drink from an eternal spring
Come weary and I will give you rest
I come that you might have life, abundant life
When we believe a lie, we don’t come to him
When we believe the truth and come to him we receive a reward because he is a REWARDER
Faith walking BELIEVES IN God
And Faith Walking BELIEVES that God is a REWARDING God for those who
Exhibit their faith …
“ Who earnestly seek him” = ekzeteo ek-zay-teh-o to seek out, search for, investigate, scrutinize, beg, crave
And if we seek him we will find him. Perhaps not like we expected or when but we will find him and he rewards
Some days you might look at the world or your circumstances and think God doesn’t exist and if he does he certainly doesn’t reward and those days require FAITH … believing and walking in belief though it doesn’t appear
“He hides himself so wondrously
As though there were no God;
He is least seen when all the powers
Of ill are most abroad.
Or he deserts us at the hour
The fight is almost lost,
And seems to leave us to ourselves
Just when we need him most.
It is not so, but so it looks;
And we lose courage then;
And doubts will come if God hath kept
His promises to men.”
Doubts Come but Faith Knows
God keeps every promise he ever makes
Romans 3:11 says that no one seeks God on their own. However, I want you to know today, if you will respond to the drawing of the Father, and seek out the Son, you will find that he rewards your seeking with Eternal Life
With good things
With abundant life
What a mighty God we serve
There is none like him
Faith Believes God
Faith that demonstrates itself in life …finds that
V6 says “without faith, it is impossible to please God”
Pleasing God is what we want
Pleasing God is what we desire
Look at the end of verse 5 … BEFORE he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God
BEFORE salvation, before deliverance, before fulfilling of what he had always believed … he exhibited faith
Faith proceeds receiving of the Promise
Faith comes before Salvation
Eph 2:8 says By grace you are saved, through faith
We become pleasing to God ONLY by Faith
What faith pleases God?
Faith in the cross of Jesus is faith that pleases God
Faith that believes God when he says we are insufficient on our own
Faith that believes God will reward us with Eternal Life and Intimate Fellowship with Almighty God through the indwelling of his Spirit because of the forgiving power of the blood of his Son
Faith Pleases God
Greek – euaresteo yoo-ar-es-the-o - to be well pleasing
What was it that pleased God?
Enoch Walked with God
Where have you gone with God?
Our faith, walked out, is well pleasing to God
Please notice that this doesn’t say that faith pleases God more than a well lived life apart from faith
This says that without faith we cannot please God
What is my point?
Let me just stir your thinking for a bit
We do things for God every day. But if we were honest, we would admit that most of the things that we do “for God” do not require faith.
In the studying, “Experiencing God” Henry Blackaby reminds us that since the ways of God are higher than our ways and the thoughts of God are higher than our thoughts, then if the things that we are doing “for God” are things we can explain, then God is probably not doing it and so then, if God isn’t doing it, it doesn’t really require faith. If we can explain what we are doing then it doesn’t require faith.
“What’s your point pastor?”
We need to Believe OUTSIDE our ability to understand
We need to Believe Outside ability to do
Ephesians 3:20 says he is “… able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine …”
Let me ask you to let this set for a minute by asking this question
What areas of your life has God asked for faith but you have failed to walk in it?
God is not pleased
Has he asked you to trust him with finances but you said it can’t be done?
Has he asked you to share your faith with a co-worker, family member or friend but you said, “I can’t” or “they can’t”
Has he asked for a habit in your life to be given to him but you said, “I can’t”
Has he asked you to do something for him you never would have imagined?
All of those things require faith and without faith it is impossible to please God
Look at God again
He is able to do immeasurable MORE than we can ASK or imagine
If you had looked at this world formless and void, could you ever have imagined the Grand Canyon?
Walk in Faith
Could you have ever imagined the beauty of Bora Bora, Doc, Jim?
Walk in Faith
Could you have ever imagined all the hues of a sunset?
Walk in Faith
Could you have imagined a Duckbilled Platypus?
So what are you going to imagine that he can’t do?
He let his son DIE for your sins … What else are you going to ask that he can’t do
Romans 8:32 he who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
Step out in faith
We live by faith not by sight
We have to live certain of what we can’t see
Sure of what we know is our future in Christ
Believing in our Creator’s ability to do all things
Don’t you want to be judged as those walking about in Faith
Isaiah 38:3 Hezekiah said … Remember, O Lord how I have walked before you faithfully
Romans 4:12 Says God’s people the true offspring of Abraham are those “who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had …”
3 John 3 John wrote “It gave me great joy to have some brothers come and tell about your faithfulness to the truth and how you continue to walk in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth
When Abraham was led by God to Canaan for the first time in Genesis 13:17 God told him to “walk about the land … for I will give it to you”
Those apart from God in Psalm 82:5 are said to “walk in darkness”
But in Psalm 119:49 David said “I walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts”
What David was saying is that freedom comes when we believe what God has said and walk in it and therein find his PLEASURE
And when we walk Believing God
When we walk Pleasing God
We are certain that
So not much left here but If Enoch “walked with God” …
That word means “go, walk, die, flow with, follow adhere to”
And as he did
Enoch saw God
Paul told the Ephesians
Ephesians 1:18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints
How do we see God through the eyes of faith?
Listen not every faithful person sees life the same way but everyone can see God.
Abel was murdered with God’s full knowledge
Imagine the horrible nature of that crime in that early world. It would have been brutal
But Abel knew God’s favor and he saw God even though his life was short
Enoch walked with God and never had to die but does that make his life any better than Abel’s?
They both saw God as they walked with him
How do we SEE God with the eyes of our heart?
Job 33:26 He prays to god and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy
Isa 6:1 in the year King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple
Matt 5:8 blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God
When we are faithful, we see God through the eyes of faith …
But no matter the experience no matter how life goes or ends …
Those who know him have faith in him, have faith that he rewards, have found his pleasure in faith … will
Abel died a physical death as has every person that has walked this earth, save Enoch and Elijah but the moment his eyes closed in death …
His Eyes saw God face to face
Enoch never closed his eyes in death but the moment his eyes left this realm and entered the Heavenly realm, He saw God Face to Face
David’s son had died and instead of being consumed with grief, he worshipped God and said “now that he is dead … can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
He knew God is real and he can believe and so he showed his faith
Job knew it
Job 19:26-27 After my skin has been destroyed yet in my flesh I will see God; 27 I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
We will see him because we have walked in faith
You know Enoch was just an everyday guy
He was every day raising his family
He was every day loving his wife
He was every day giving a witness
He was every day living his life
He walked with God
I’m not asking you to have EXTRAORDINARY FAITH but EVERYDAY Faith!
As Usual With Wesley
A lady once asked John Wesley that suppose he were to know that he would die at 12:00 midnight tomorrow, how would he spend the intervening time. His reply: “Why madam, just as I intend to spend it now. I would preach this evening at Gloucester, and again at five tomorrow morning; after that I would ride to Tewkesbury, preach in the afternoon, and meet the societies in the evening. I would then go to Rev. Martin’s house, who expects to entertain me, talk and pray with the family as usual, retire to my room at 10 o’clock, commend myself to my heavenly Father, lie down to rest, and wake up in Glory.”
Could it be said of you and I “They walked with God by Faith, and then they weren’t here any longer cause God took them”