One of the most important things I would tell a new or soon-to-be parent—or any parent—is that you need a healthy relationship with God. Sometimes parenting will bring your to your knees in despair and at others in prayer.
But do not be mistaken: it will bring your to your knees.
I’ve been working my way through the New Testament in my morning Bible study and when I finished Revelation last week, I decided to start over in Genesis. This morning I read Genesis 5 and the following verses struck me:
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.
Genesis 5:21-24 (KJV)
Enoch lived to be 365 years old, but it says he walked with God for the 300 years after his son Methuselah was born. His walk changed after he became a father.
The fifth chapter of Genesis contains a genealogy stretching from Adam to Noah: the age of each man at the birth of his first son; how many years he lived afterwards (while continuing to have sons and daughters); the sum total of his years; and the final phrase “and he died.” All but Enoch.
Different versions say it different ways, but the meaning is the same: Enoch didn’t die. God took him away.
Hebrews 11:5 tells us: “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.” (KJV)
Here the verb translate means “to move from one place or condition to another”—in this case from earth to heaven, without experiencing death. In Genesis we are told Enoch walked with God and here we learn he pleased God.
Could we hope for higher praise?
Enoch’s lifespan of 365 years was much shorter than his near ancestors and descendants, who lived from 777 (Lamech) to 969 (Methuselah) years. If my math is correct, God took Enoch 69 years before his his great-grandson Noah was born, but I assume Enoch’s life—both how he lived it and how he left it—were the source of many family conversations.
I wonder at the impact of his life on Noah, who “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” at a time when man’s wickedness was so great that God sent a worldwide flood. (Genesis 6:5-8, KJV)
Imagine living in a way that could influence generations to come!