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A Man Who Walked With God

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Introduction: Today is Father’s Day, a day to honor Dad for his special role in the family. Someone described a father like this: “When you’re small, a father has two huge hands that lift you onto his shoulders and that put worms on hooks better than any other hands in the world. A father is the man who sits at the head of the table and gets two lamb chops when you get one. He is nice to be near when there’s thunder and lightning—or trouble. A father understands when you think you’re too old to be kissed good night. He’s the one who teaches you how to tie your tie, who buys your first razor, who gives you permission to take the car, and who comforts mom when aren’t home on time. Sometimes he helps you fail algebra. A father spends most of his life reaching in his pocket for money to give someone for something. And his favorite words are, “No when I was your age...”
Garrison Keillor, on his “Writer’s Almanac” reminds us that Father’s Day goes back “to a Sunday morning in May of 1909, when a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was sitting in church in Spokane, Washington, listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She thought of her father who had raised her and her siblings after her mother died birthing a child, and she thought that fathers should get recognition, too. So she asked the minister of the church if he would deliver a sermon honoring fathers on her father’s birthday, which was coming up in June...and the minister did. And the tradition of Father’s Day caught on, though rather slowly. Mother’s Day became an official holiday in 1914; Father’s Day, not until 1972. Mother’s Day is still the busiest day of the year for florists, restaurants and long distance companies. Father’s Day is the day on which the most collect phone calls are made.
I recently read a true story entitled, “Priceless Scribbles.” It concerns a father who touched his child’s life in an unexpected way. A young boy watched as his father walked into the living room. The boy noticed that his younger brother, John, began to cower slightly as his father entered the room. The older boy sensed that John had done something wrong. Then he was from a distance what his little brother had done. The younger had opened his father’s brand new hymnal and scribbled all over the first page with a pen.
Staring at their father fearfully, both brothers waited for John’s punishment. Their father picked up his prized hymnal, looked at it carefully and then sat down, without saying a word. Books were precious to him; he was a minister with several academic degrees. For him, books were knowledge. What he did next was remarkable. Instead of punishing his brother...instead of scolding, or yelling, his father took the pen from the little boy’s hand, and then wrote in the book himself, alongside the scribbles that John had made. Here is what that father wrote: “John’s work, 1959, age 2. How many times have I looked into your beautiful face and into your warm, alert eyes looking up at me and thanked God for the one who has now scribbled in my new hymnal. You have made the book sacred, as have your brother and sister to so much of my life.”
“Wow,” thought the older brother, “This is punishment?” That hymnal became a treasured family possession...tangible proof that their parents loved them. It taught the lesson that what really matters is people, not objects; patience, not judgment; love, not anger.
But the story that I like the best is about a dad who passed by his son’s bedroom and was astonished to see the bed nicely made up and everything neat and tidy. Then he saw an envelope propped up on the pillow. It was addressed, “Dad.” With the worst premonition, he opened the envelope and read the letter with trembling hands:
“Dear Dad, It is with great regret and sorrow that I’m writing you. I had to elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with you and Mom. I’ve been finding real passion with Joan, and she is so nice. I knew you would not approve of her because of all her piercings, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes, and the fact that she is so much older than I am. It’s not just her passion, Dad. She really gets me. Joan says that we are going to be very happy. She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood—just enough for the whole winter. We share a dream of having many children. Please don’t worry, Dad. I’m 15 and I know how to take care of myself. I’m sure we’ll be back to visit someday so you can get to know your grandchildren. Your Son, Chad.
P.S. Dad, none of the above is true. I’m over at Tommy’s house. I just wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than the report card that’s in my desk drawer. I love you! Call when it is safe for me to come home...Oh the joys of parenting! I’m sure we sometimes cause God stress...yet He always loves us. What great love we have from our Father in Heaven!!!
This morning I’d like for us to consider a certain father mentioned in the Bible that doesn’t get a lot of attention.
There are a lot of men mentioned in the Bible we know very little about and one of those men is Enoch. The Bible tells us that he was Noah’s great grandfather. He lived very early in human history. He lived at a time of gradual degenerative morality…a time when people were rebelling against God.

When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.

There is much application we can draw from the life and witness of Enoch even though precious little is recorded about him.
1. Twice the record states that Enoch walked with God. This statement indicates a companionship between Enoch and God. It is much like the expression that comes later about Noah, “He walked with God and found favor in God’s eyes.
2. Enoch was a father.
3. He lived in an era of decreasing morality.
4. He was a man of exemplary faith.
Let us learn three important lessons about the life of Enoch this morning.
I. Enoch Walked with God amid in a Wicked Environment
Humanity lost much ground with the murderous action of Cain when he killed his brother Abel. Cain’s life was filled with corruption. Lamech, one of Cain’s descendants went down in history with this commentary on his life:

23 One day Lamech said to his wives,

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;

listen to me, you wives of Lamech.

I have killed a man who attacked me,

a young man who wounded me.

24 If someone who kills Cain is punished seven times,

then the one who kills me will be punished seventy-seven times!”

From time to time we hear people say, “Let’s go back to the good ol’ days!” That is a desire that needs clarification. Which time in the past are we yearning for? The time of Lamech and the generations that followed were far from good.
In these early chapters of Genesis there were two lines that became clearly marked. Those in the line of Cain and those in the line of Seth. The Bible says that at the time of Seth men began to “call on the Lord, by name.” But gradually even the descendants of righteous Seth became corrupted by association and intermarriage with the line of Cain. This led to the time that is recorded: “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth and that every imagination of the thought of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5,6)
It was amid such an evil environment that Enoch lived. But he decided that he would not go along with the crowd. He decided that he would walk with God. This particular phrased, “He walked with God” is used of only two men in the Bible: Enoch and Noah. Both men were singled out because they walked with God. They “marched to the sound of a different drummer.” They didn’t cop out. They didn’t just go along with the crowd. They didn’t compromise. They may not have been very popular with the good old boys. But they were popular with God (and that’s what counts!).
What’s very interesting is that at this point in the Genesis account we are only 700 years from the time that Adam and Eve were expelled from the Garden. Adam and Enoch were contemporaries for several decades. Could it be that Adam was able to share with Enoch about the real “good ol’ days” back in the Garden when he had a close relationship with God…they would walk together “in the cool of the day.” Maybe Adam shared with Enoch about his disobedience that led to their expulsion from the Garden of Eden. Maybe it was such conversations that enabled Enoch to develop a relationship with God that no one had had since the Garden.
He did not cop out. He did not compromise. He may not have been very popular with the good old boys. But he was popular with God (and that’s what counts!).
Or, maybe it was when Enoch was 65 years old and his son, Methuselah, was born. Methuselah’s name in Hebrew means, “when he is dead it shall be sent.” Could it be that Enoch got a message from God at that time about the coming judgment God was bringing on such a sinful world? It is likely that when Methuselah died at 969 years old is when the flood came as God’s judgment on a sinful world.
This may be what Jude had in mind when he wrote,

14 Enoch, who lived in the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about these people. He said, “Listen! The Lord is coming with countless thousands of his holy ones 15 to execute judgment on the people of the world. He will convict every person of all the ungodly things they have done and for all the insults that ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”*

Whatever led to Enoch’s decision to walk a different path from those around him he was determined to walk with God! That’s very significant because God rewarded that walk…that life. OT and NT “walk” refers to lifestyle or behavior. It’s not how you take your steps but where those steps lead. By translating him from a wicked world to be with God even more closely.
Enoch walked with God! That’s very significant. God rewarded that walk…that life. OT and NT “walk” refers to lifestyle or behavior. It’s not how you take your steps but where those steps lead. By translating him from a wicked world to be with God even more closely.
Dads, be an example that your children can emulate. Walk with God before them. Don’t be like the father who said to his son, “You better get ready the bus will be here in a minute to take you to Sunday School.” The boy asked, “Did you go to Sunday School when you were a boy?” The father replied, “Yes I did.” The boy muttered as he was getting dressed, “Well it probably won’t do me any good either!”
It’s been said that the best thing a father can do for his children is really love their mother.
Ravi Zacharias: “Many men over the years have opted for selfishness over duty; for professional accolades over nurture; for image rather than substance; for temporary gain over an eternal destined profit; for sitting in a board room rather than standing by a crib.”
Dads, let your children see the difference Christ makes in your life!
II. Enoch, an ordinary man, lived an extra-ordinary life
There is no indication that Enoch was a recluse. He did not shut himself off from the world around him. He married, had children, enjoyed a family. He was a husband and a father.
The Apostle Paul will later exhort us,

2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

J.B. Philips translates that verse as, “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.” Enoch heeded that same principle. He didn’t let the world squeeze him into its evil ways. He walked with God. He was a father who held God’s hand and followed His leading.
Someone has quipped that one day a wife was disgruntled with her husband. The advice was given, “Get him to walk with God like Enoch and perhaps God will take him off your hands!”
Wives do need to encourage their husbands and pray for them, but with better motives than that. If more husbands and wives would genuinely walk with God they would be able to walk better with each other.
God needs men like Enoch. God needs fathers like Enoch. Men who will not be content with just being like everyone else…but will be what God wants them to be. So many husbands and fathers get caught up in the world’s whirl of life and then it catches up with them. The result is that they come to the end of their life with a load of regret for what life could have been.
You might hear them say,
“I could have been a man who walked with God.”
“I could have been a better father to my children.”
“I could have been a much better husband to my wife.”
“I wish I had led my children to follow the Lord.”
Those are sad words when they are realized and said at life’s end.
I love the story of a Spanish father and son who had become estranged. The son ran away, and the father set off to find him. He searched for months to no avail. Finally, in a last desperate effort to find him, the father put an ad in a newspaper in Madrid. The ad read: “Dear Paco, meet me in front of this newspaper office at noon on Saturday. All is forgiven. I love you, Your Father.” On Saturday 800 Pacos showed up, looking for forgiveness and love from their fathers.
Yes, God needs men! Men who love their families, men who love God---ordinary men who lived extra-ordinary lives by walking with Him.
A colleague of mine once said, “We have not yet attained as a church, but we are daring to dream big for the future. God is looking for me! Not just any kind of men…but men who are foolish enough to believe that God sponsors no flops…men who are willing to dream big dreams…and are more concerned with noble purpose than with pleasure…men who are wise enough to know the difference between the important and the essential…men whose reach always exceeds their grasp…men who are willing to forfeit riches for principle and convenience for sacrifice…God is looking for men who have been arrested by Christ…men whose dreams and aspirations have been catapulted to a higher sphere…men who are willing to go broke for God!” (Gary York)
Finally we see that...
III. Enoch’s walk became an example of faith. (Hebrews 11:5,6)

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. 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.

You see, Enoch has a place in God’s Hall of the Faithful. His life is an example for my life and for yours.
This passage in Hebrews tells us more about Enoch than was revealed in the Genesis record. Here it tells us that Enoch was a man of faith…that he walked by faith. Any walking that really counts with God in this life is by faith. Any living that really means something is being motivated by faith and trust in God. That’s what caught God’s attention to Enoch’s life…he pleased God by walking with Him. Faith and faithfulness always pleases God. Without it we cannot please Him.
Note also that this passage in Hebrews says, “he was known as a person who pleased God.” In other words that was his reputation. He was a God-pleaser. Far better to be a God-pleaser than a man-pleaser!
Enoch didn’t have an epitaph inscribed on a tombstone. If he did it would probably have read, “Enoch, a man who walked with God by Faith.” What is your reputation? What will be inscribed on your tombstone?
Here are five famous tombstones. See if you can guess whom they belong to.
“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty. I’m Free at last.”
“Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty. I’m Free at last.”
A)Benjamin Franklin b) Martin Luther King Jr.
A)Benjamin Franklin b) Martin Luther King Jr.
“I will not be right back after this message.”
“I will not be right back after this message.”
A) Merv Griffin b) William Shakespeare
A) Merv Griffin b) William Shakespeare
“That’s All Folks”
“That’s All Folks”
A) Robert Frost b) Mel Blanc
A) Robert Frost b) Mel Blanc
“There Goes the Neighborhood”
A) Bette Davis b) Rodney Dangerfield
“There Goes the Neighborhood”
“Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime”
“Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime”
A) Robert Frost b) Dean Martin
A) Robert Frost b) Dean Martin
If you got these right, you are old like me or love trivia. But each of these is based on the reputation of the individual. Martin Luther King Jr. and his reputation as a freedom fighter. Merv Griffin and his reputation as the ultimate TV host. Mel Blanc and his reputation for his vocal talents. Rodney Dangerfield and his reputation of getting “No respect”. Dean Martin and his reputation of a boozing night club singer.
If you got these right, you are old like me or love trivia. But each of these is based on the reputation of the individual. Martin Luther King Jr. and his reputation as a freedom fighter. Merv Griffin and his reputation as the ultimate TV host. Mel Blanc and his reputation for his vocal talents. Rodney Dangerfield and his reputation of getting “No respect”. Dean Martin and his reputation of a boozing night club singer.
Enoch had a reputation as a person who pleased God. I wonder how people see us. Are we known as a person who pleases God or a person who pleases man? When people ask us about God, Jesus, or the church, do our answers reflect our desire to be God pleasers. Or do we come off as insincere believers? How long does someone have to be around us to recognize us as God-pleasers? Do they even see it at all? Our actions, or lack of, speak volumes above our words.
There were four preachers who were talking one day about translations of the Bible. One said, “I still like the King James Version the best. The beauty of the language and the rhythm of the cadence is unsurpassed.” Another said, “I like the New American Standard Version because it’s closest to the actual Greek and Hebrew tongues.” Another said, “I like the New International Version because it’s easy to read.” The fourth thought for a moment and then said, “Of all the translations, I think my father’s is the best.” One said, “You mean your father has translated the Bible?” He said, “Oh yes, everyday he translated the Bible to me in his life of love, compassion, forgiveness and sacrifice. Because of his translation, I have trusted Jesus Christ as my Savior and am preaching the Good News!”
Conclusion: Enoch walked in the paths in which God walked. If we would walk with God, we must select the paths which please Him. So often we live dangerously with God. We say, “Well, surely I can walk over here and be a Christian…can’t I?” Or, to phrase it another way, “Can I do this or this and still be a Christian? How much can I get away with and still go to heaven?” Those are not faith questions!
Enoch had a reputation as a person who pleased God. I wonder how people see us. Are we known as a person who pleases God or a person who pleases man? When people ask us about God, Jesus, or the church, does our answers reflect our desire to be God pleasers. Or do we come off as insincere believers? How long does someone have to be around us to recognize us as God-pleasers? Do they even see it at all? Our actions, or lack of, speak volumes above our words.
Do you remember the story of the coachman? A man was testing applicants for the job. He said, “Do you count yourself as skillful driver? How near the edge of a precipice would you dare to drive and consider it safe?” “Within a foot,” came the reply of one. The second applicant, “Within inches.” The third, the Irishman, said, “Be shore, and I’d kape as far from the aidge as possible!” Pat got the job!
Hey Dads! Be like Moses…follow God wherever He leads.
Be like David, “a man after God’s own heart.”
Be like Joshua, “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord.”
Be like Daniel and refuse to eat the king’s danties.”
Be like Peter, Andrew, James and John and leave the nets to follow Him.
Be like Paul, “Arise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
Be like Enoch and walk with God by faith!
A little girl was telling the story of Enoch to her grandmother in her own way. She said, “Enoch and God used to take long walks together, and one day they walked farther than usual; and God said, ‘Enoch, you must be tired; come into my and house and rest.’”
There’s a sequel to that story: “Enoch was so happy in God’s home, and God was so glad to have him there, that they just kept on living together forever!”
David sang, “and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever!”
Jesus said, “Come unto Me!”
Jesus said, “Follow me! Walk with Me!”
That’s His invitation…have you responded?
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