Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hebrews 11:5 He pleased God

We don't know much about Enoch but he was apparently very special to God. Enoch didn't experience death although Abel did. We get little gimpses of Enoch's life throughout the Bible, and in the book of Jude we hear about his prophesy. Was it a prophesy to people of his time before the flood? Or to us? Or was it for both?
By now, you wil have noticed that the word "commended" has been used several times. It is often also translated as "witnessed" or "testified." In fact the words, witness and testimony are themes that flow throughout this chapter and even into following chapters. This leads us to the second interpretation of faith; faith is commending God. A faithful person commends, and trusts, and ascribes power and glory to God.
Jesus also told us that if we honor Him on earth and testify about Him, then He will testify about us before God and the holy angels.
Consider also that Paul's reputation was also known in heaven, because the demons who attacked the seven sons of Sceva said to them, "Paul I know and Jesus I know but who are you?"
Therefore in the spiritual world, the child of God who has faith in God has a kind of spiritual reputation.  But, although it is good to have a good report in heaven, it is not only about the believer's reputation.
Enoch's prophesy, as reported through the Holy Spirit by Jude:
14Enoch, 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 15to 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.”
In the prophesy, Enoch states the reason for God's coming: Men have testified wrongly against God. We must not only be careful about speaking God's name in vain but we must not speak harsh and wrong words against God's reputation.  
But he pleased God. What did he do to please God? What set him apart from everybody else? I often think that perhaps he might have been the first fire-and-brimstone preacher of God's wrath. Even before Noah preached about the flood, Enoch preached about God's coming udgment against the sins of his world. Paul writes that Enoch walked with God. What does it mean to walk with God? There are so many different ways in Scripture of showing God's relationship with certain people. Abram is God's friend, David is a man after God's own heart, and Enoch walked with God.
It must have been very strange when people died during the pre-flood ages. Humans were so long-lived then that death must have been a strange surprise anytime it happened. Enoch disappeared and was translated to heaven. And Paul writes that Enoch was "not found." There is an implication that a great search was made for him. Why did God not let Enoch die? Did Enoch have faith not to die? Did God make him not die as a sign to an evil generation? Did that generation understand how important it was to please God?

5By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God.
Through faith Enoch was taken from the earth so that he did not see death, and he could not be found, because God had taken him; for before he was taken we have evidence that he truly pleased God.

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