Genesis 5 contains the list of the godly seed through Seth down to the time of Noah. Therefore it is a list of love containing the names of those who enjoyed the favour of God. The list is a reminder that God’s priority is people.
A name that stands out in the list is Enoch. The account tells us that Enoch’s walk with God was connected to the birth of his son, Methuselah. For sixty-five years he had lived, perhaps paying little attention to God. But things changed once he had the responsibility of a child.
Becoming parents is obviously a very happy time in a family, an occasion of great joy and pleasure. But Enoch realised something else because he was in the line of those who had feared God. He was aware of his responsibility to pass on the knowledge of God to his own family. But he could not pass on details about an unknown God. This is a reminder to parents that it is important to tell their children about a God they know well.
But there is a second aspect to notice of this crisis moment. The giving of this child was itself a prediction of divine judgement. His name means, ‘When he dies, it shall come.’ Methuselah lived for 969 years, and the year of his death was the year that the Flood came. God, in a way that we are not told, spoke to Enoch about coming judgment. No wonder he began to fear the Lord. It is a marvellous insight into God’s grace that the person whose death would bring about the judgment also lived the longest life. God delayed judgment, as it were, for 969 years. But eventually the judgment came. God’s patience did not last forever.
Enoch’s life is described as a walk with God. What does this imagery imply? First, God and Enoch were at peace with one another. Second, God and Enoch had communion with one another – they shared the same interests. Third, God led Enoch along the way to his destination and eventually they reached. Enoch had the privilege of not dying, but he also had the greater privileges of God’s company in this life and living in God’s home after it was over.