Adam walked with God.
The first three chapters of Genesis paint a picture of Adam and Eve walking with God in the garden, enjoying a relationship hard for us to picture. Genesis 3:9 hints that God himself sought them out for walks. Immediately after they sinned, God came walking through the garden looking for his walking companions.
The six generations of descendants born while Adam still lived would no doubt have heard firsthand Adam’s stories of those walks. Some of them may have grown tired of hearing the old man repeatedly spin out the same yarns.
But there’s always the one great grandchild who is fascinated by the stories of generations past, isn’t there?
Adam was 622 years old when his great-great-great-great grandson Enoch was born, and he lived on through 178 years of Enoch’s life. Perhaps Enoch was the one who never grew tired of Adam’s stories. He not only eagerly listened, but quizzed the old patriarch, teasing out details that Adam himself had almost forgotten.
Maybe Adam’s stories didn’t just make Enoch nostalgic. Instead they fired up his desire to walk with God like Adam once did. He couldn’t bring back the garden, but maybe he could find a way to walk with God.
And he did.
Walking with Grace
If Enoch grew close to Adam, he may have been the one who held Adam’s hand and wept with him as he recalled the shame he felt when he answered God’s searching question with, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid” (Genesis 3:10).
Genesis doesn’t tell us whether Adam ever learned to walk with God after the Fall. But Enoch is singled out as a sinner who did learn to walk with God. A lot of sins can pile up during a 365-year lifespan.
He was living at a time when many in the world were sliding into a pit of degradation. His son, Methuselah, saw his father walking with God but also lived to see the building of the ark and God’s anger at the sinfulness of people.
Walking with God always requires a heavy dose of grace.
When my son was small, he would hold my hand while we walked together, to keep from stumbling. I would adjust my pace so he could keep up.
Your Father God wants to do the same with you, even if you’re prone to missteps, even if you’re easily distracted. Just reach out and take his hand and walk alongside him.
Walking by Faith
Hebrews 11:5, 6 says Enoch walked faithfully with God. But what sort of faith did he have?
He had no Bible to study during his “quiet time.” Enoch lived more than 1,000 years before Moses received the Ten Commandments. He had only the oral traditions passed down through generations, without benefit of written Scriptures.
But Enoch still knew God, and he knew him well.
David wrote “the heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands” (Psalm 19:1). Paul wrote “since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his external power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse” (Romans 1:20). In Romans 2:14, 15 he adds, “the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences bearing witness.”
Today the complete Bible is available to teach us how to walk with God. But we are still to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7, KJV). Our faith is in the God we cannot see, not in the words on a page.
God gave us his Word to provide us with guideposts along the road of life, but he wants our attention to be on him as he walks with us.
Walking in Friendship
Jude 1:14, 15 contains the most perplexing reference to Enoch, where Jude tells of a prophecy made by Enoch. This prophecy is mentioned nowhere else in Scripture, but Jude, inspired by God, quoted Enoch.
Only those who walk with God are invited into the inner circle, to know and share his plans and purposes. In the upper room, Jesus told his own walking companions, the disciples, “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you (John 15:14, 15).
Enoch, one of the few people to experience a walking relationship comparable to the relationship the disciples shared with Christ, spoke for God, according to Jude, sharing his intimate knowledge with the people of his world.
Do you want to know the will of God? Are you wondering what your role is in his mission?
The closer your daily walk with God, the greater your insight into God’s plan for today and for the future. Then you’ll be equipped and eager to share what you’ve learned with the people of your world.
Do you think you’re too busy to walk with God?
Every traveler on the road of life is walking with God throughout the journey. Most are too preoccupied with other things to notice his presence, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35).
Enoch had all the same basic distractions as any person today. He was married, had children, and worked to provide for his family. He did all this in an era without modern conveniences, when every day required hard work for survival, from dawn until dusk.
And yet he was known for walking with God. When did he have time? It could only happen through an intentional daily decision not to let the daily distractions get in his way.
For the Christian this means intentionally walking by the Spirit, actively producing the fruit of the Spirit, and consistently denying the desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
An active walk with God will also include serving God. God praised Levi, the first high priest, saying, “He walked with me in peace and righteousness, and turned many from sin” (Malachi 2:4-6).
As you intentionally walk with God, you’ll also intentionally reach out to others, inviting them to step away from sin and join you in walking with God.
Walking Home with God
One aspect of Enoch’s walk cannot be emulated: he walked with God for 365 years. And then, as Genesis 5:24 cryptically tells us, “he was no more, because God took him away.”
For someone who intentionally walks by grace and faith each day, inviting others to come along, a friendship with God will build steadily, growing into a tight bond that can last a lifetime and beyond.
My wife recalls having a close friend when she was a young girl. They would frequently walk together among the farms and along the country roads of Pike County, Illinois. As the evening approached, they would naturally head toward whichever of their homes was closest, to stay for the night.
I look forward to the day when God and I are walking together in the evening, hand in hand, and we discover we’re closer to his house than to mine.
T. R. Robertson is a freelance writer living in Columbia, Missouri.