God, in the last two centuries of His-story, delivered a detailed description of the power and glory of fallen man living as gods to themselves in the glorious creation that God had created for his glory. Year after year the city of Enoch grew, the wonders of technology dazzled the imagination, and the rowdy celebrations increased. Increasingly, the church which lived near the garden of Eden saw and heard of the wonders of man. Many in the church which gathered weekly around Adam to hear again the gospel of a promised Savior grew restless and impatient. Those who had ventured out to visit the city of Enoch could not concentrate for a minute on the sermons or history instruction because the wonders of Enoch and good looking girls kept dancing through their heads. Faith wavered: the earth with her treasures and the power of man seemed to be the only real salvation.
Young men in the church began to bring home beautiful young girls from the city and suburbs of Enoch flushed with excitement and deaf to all the concerns and warnings of their parents. God gives us a clear picture of these developments in Genesis 6:1-2 “And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.” One marriage opened the floodgate to more. At first the charm of happy young couples seemed to prove the concerns were overrated. The children were not interested in Adam’s history, but they were hearty children and grew to be men of massive physical and intellectual power, “men of renown.” Soon the attractions of Enoch began to take over the church, and those who wearied of the life within the sphere of the church moved out.
It was during the early stages of this invasion of the world into the church that a child who was to become a prominent warrior of the faith was born to Jared and his wife. Interestingly, they name him Enoch which means “dedicated” and “to begin.” If Cain’s motive in naming his son Enoch was his hope in beginning a new life away from God and dedicated to the glory of man, we see here a sharp antithetical contrast in a godly man who names his son Enoch with the hope and prayer of dedicating him to the Lord and the great battle of faith.
The prayers of Jared and his wife were heard by God, and God graciously worked within Enoch’s heart to make him a man who became famous for his intimate walking with God (Gen. 5:22, 24). The inspired writer of Hebrews describes his walk in terms of “faith,” “pleasing God,” and “diligent seeking of God” (Heb. 11:5-6). While many of his peers grew up and became enamored with and devoted to the pleasures of this world, Enoch’s mind was filled with love and devotion to God.
It was his close covenant walk with God that made Enoch the great warrior and defender of the church for which he would soon become famous. To be sure, his parents carefully instructed him in history and the knowledge of salvation revealed by God. Even though many in the church did not fully comprehend the grave danger that the growing worldly population posed to the spiritual life of the church, Jared and his wife did, and they knew exactly what to do. They humbly put their trust in God. In doing so, they did not wait passively, but were busy training up their son Enoch and doing all they could to outfit him for the battle to come.
Can you see Jared sitting down with his son and saying to him, “my son,
“be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but
against the rulers of the darkness of this world,
against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God,
that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day,
and having done all,
having your loins girt about with truth,
and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
taking the shield of faith,
wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation,
and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit,
and watching thereunto with all perseverance
and supplication for all saints.”
As Enoch grew up in the church and walked closely with God in covenant fellowship, the scorn and derision of his God by men who grew up in the church as well as those who came from the line of Cain aroused a holy anger in his heart. Like Samson, “the spirit of the Lord began to move him” (Judges 13:25). What a joy and encouragement it was for the church to see Enoch confront the enemy saying, “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men’s persons in admiration because of advantage. … For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude).
As he began to carry out the work God prepared for him, God gave to him a wife, and right at the end of the 7th century God gave to him a son who would live to see Noah begin to build the ark in preparation for God’s judgment on the wicked and salvation of the church. “And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him” (Gen. 5:21-24). We will come back briefly to Enoch and the wonder of God plucking his battle weary friend from the heat of the battle in the 9th century. For the next century we will focus on the role of Methuselah as a vital link for the church between Adam and Shem who would witness the birth of Abraham and Isaac.