Hebrews 11 highlights many great heroes of the Christian faith, especially Abraham and Moses. Much preaching and teaching focuses on these great men and others like David, who is only mentioned in passing in 11:32. Though he is spoken of in two full verses (Heb. 11:5-6), Enoch, however, seems to have received far less attention. Closely examining the scriptural revelation about him shows some important truths from his life. Most of all, we can and should learn to please God from his example.
Overall, Scripture does not provide much revelation about Enoch. Four passages tell us about him (Genesis 5; 1 Chronicles 1:3; Hebrews 11; and Jude). From these passages, we learn two major truths about Enoch that teach us how to please God.
Please God by walking with Him
As a married man with sons and daughters, Enoch walked with God for three hundred years (Gen. 5:21-24)! He pleased God and did not see death because God translated him (Heb. 11:5). People searched for him but did not find him because God was so pleased with him that He translated him. The next verse declares that pleasing God is only possible by those who come to Him as believers in His existence and His being a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).
Together, Hebrews 11:5-6, therefore, teach us that Enoch pleased God by walking with Him by coming to Him with faith in His existence and in His being the God who rewards people who seek Him earnestly. Moreover, like Enoch, we too must in our Christian faith learn to please God. To do so, we must walk with Him with confidence in Him and in His intent to reward us for pursuing Him wholeheartedly.
Please God by speaking for Him
Although many have given attention to what Genesis 5 and Hebrews 11 together teach us about Enoch, fewer people seem to have considered how Jude 14-15 compared with these passages also teaches us important truths about how Enoch walked with God in a pleasing way. Jude 14 tells us that Enoch was the seventh from Adam. It adds that he prophesied of the Lord’s coming.
What is not often brought out is what the content of Enoch’s prophesying about the Lord’s coming teaches us about how he pleased God by walking by faith in Him. Enoch prophesied that the Lord would come with multitudes of His saints to render judgment on all ungodly people (Jude 15). Yet, we are not given any information that the Lord ever returned to do so in Enoch’s lifetime.
By comparing Genesis 5, Hebrews 11, and Jude, we thus learn that Enoch believed and proclaimed to others the revelation that he received from some undisclosed source about the future coming of the Lord to judge. These passages considered together suggest that Enoch’s faith in future judgment by God was a key element of his walk that pleased God. We thereby should learn the great importance of that doctrine in our Christian faith.
From all that we know about Enoch, we learn that we are to stress that God desires to reward those who diligently seek Him, having heeded His revelation that warns of His future judgment of the ungodly that refuse to please Him by faith. Although speaking of future judgment by God is an unpopular teaching with many people, Enoch’s example shows us that communication of that truth is a vital aspect of a walk that pleases God.
Scripture teaches us that there are many important doctrines in the Christian faith, and the example of Enoch teaches us that the doctrine of judgment is one of those doctrines. From other Scripture, we learn that we are to preach the judgment of God compassionately and lovingly whenever possible. Let us please God in our Christian faith by walking with Him and speaking for Him.