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. - Hebrews 11:5 (emphasis added)
Shrouded in mystery, Enoch stands as one of the most fascinating and unique characters in the Bible. Even among the many heroes of our faith, including the likes of Moses, Abraham, Esther, David, Paul and others, God granted only two the extraordinary privilege of bypassing an earthly death: the mighty prophet Elijah and this obscure individual we know as Enoch.
What did this mysterious man do that merited such exceptional favor? Why does God seemingly choose to tell us so little else about him? I had always believed that the phrase “he pleased God” meant he simply achieved a level of righteousness to which most others have not attained. After all, I had heard many older saints testify of their desire to "please the Lord." They meant to walk in complete obedience, living upright Christian lives of which God would proudly approve. Indeed, this should be our goal and is a biblical mandate (see Titus 2:12, Romans 12:2, 1 Peter 1:16, and many other verses). Thus, I applied their meaning to the verse about Enoch. In fact, I still believe Enoch exceeded the standard for righteousness required by God during his time.
But does that fully explain the verse and Enoch's testimony? Perhaps not. The Bible attests to the godly lives of many, many others. By that measurement, Enoch does not stand as the only example. It may be that God in His sovereignty chose to translate Enoch because He simply wanted to do so. On the other hand, maybe His primary purpose was to make an example of Enoch for the people of his own time, leaving barely more than a footnote for the rest of us. However, a different or additional perspective suggests itself.
You have likely encountered a thing, place or person in your life that you held particularly dear. There was a significant, special connection. A spark of happiness, enthusiasm or some other positive feeling that continuously attracted you. It may have been your favorite, even if only for a time. It pleased you.
Could this provide a clue about Enoch’s walk with God? I can imagine Enoch strolling through a beautiful, ancient landscape. His closest friend walks up beside him, His face lit with an exuberant smile, matching his pace. He throws a friendly arm around Enoch's shoulders. There is no awkwardness or resistance. No tension or withdrawal. Just an easy, free-flowing, intimate friendship. Not many words are needed, yet they could be spoken freely and accepted without disapproval. In my imagination, this friend is God Himself! They walk together comfortably, openly, joyously, light-heartedly! I can picture the LORD, vibrant with joy as He walks beside His dearest companion, His face radiant with a smile incomparably warm and divine and loving - a smile that had melted the hearts of angels for ages! What soul-saturating joy they must have shared! What glorious, inexpressible, astounding secrets might the Almighty have whispered into Enoch's ear!? The Scripture implies that he walked with God not just once, but consistently, before God elevated Him to the heavenly plane. It seems God was drawn to Him, day after day. Genesis 4:26 tells us that in those days there were other men who called upon the name of the LORD, but Enoch pleased God. The Almighty found great pleasure in His company! Somehow, Enoch had something that God just could not resist. Could it have been that he simply always longed for and enthusiastically welcomed God's presence, reveling in His companionship no matter when and where He showed up?
Friends, what in this world can we find to compare to that kind of relationship with God? What heights could we scale, what testimony could we possess, what revelations could we grasp if we could draw God to us as Enoch did? Relationship has always been the perfect, divine plan. The heart of God burns with an unquenchable desire to commune with us and for us to know Him truly, freely, intimately. To walk so closely that He can whisper the divine into our ears. Even in this evil, unworthy world there remain a few who believe in and call upon Him. Yet He offers so much more to those who go beyond a casual acquaintance, those who deliberately and diligently search out what will draw Him to us day after day. He anxiously awaits those who long to find the path He walks, come alongside Him and be the intimate friend He can throw His arm around, finding no resistance, reluctance or indifference. To become so close that few words are needed and disagreement is unheard of. To be saturated with the joy that overflows from His heart simply because we welcome His presence and exult in just being with Him. Imagine it!
Of course, we could, like pompous specks of dust on the expanse of eternity, reject His outstretched hand and choose instead a meaningless, joyless life and the unending loneliness of hell. No! Let our testimony be that we refused anything less than an Enoch walk with God! Let the cry of our hearts be, "Almighty God, Friend beyond compare, forgive us for every moment that we have spurned the unparalleled privilege of your company! Let us - help us - walk beside You constantly, come what may, from this moment forward and forevermore!