My Dad loved to talk about Enoch. If you recall, Enoch was one of two men mentioned in the Bible who went to heaven without dying. This intrigued my Dad. Genesis 5:24 says,
“And Enoch walked with God; and he was not, for God took him.”
My Dad pursued God. Every morning and evening he would sit and read his Bible, pen in hand, leaning forward, eager to learn. He finished every day kneeling in prayer beside his bed.
He led us in family devotions every day. Often at the breakfast table, sometimes after supper. We would read verse-by-verse taking turns. Then we would pray together.
My Dad longed to be closer to his God. Time and time again he would talk about walking close enough to God so that he would be translated like Enoch. We just shook our heads and said…”Not likely to happen.” Still, he pursued his God.
FAITH PLEASES GOD
Hebrews 11:5-6 gives us a little more information about Enoch. We learn he was pleasing to God. That he had faith. His faith included believing that God existed and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The Phillips translation puts it this way.
“… he pleased God. And without faith, it is impossible to please him. The man who approaches God must have faith in two things, first that God exists and secondly that it is worth a man’s while to try to find God.”
Enoch thought it was worth his while to find God. Enoch sought God. Enoch walked with God. God cut his earthly life short to bring him home.
When I was almost 30, my Dad was diagnosed with cancer. A brain tumor was growing quickly despite the doctor’s best efforts to treat it. He lost his ability to write. His violin had to be set aside. He quit chopping wood. He could no longer drive. Every day something new was gone. Finally, he couldn’t walk and even his voice was taken away.
I prayed for healing. This God who my Dad had taught me about would certainly heal him. But God’s ways are not my ways and in less than a year my Dad was gone. Gone home to heaven. And I was devastated.
Why would God cut his life short? Didn’t God know we needed him? Hadn’t he pursued God? Didn’t he deserve a good long life? I mourned…but I also knew that my dad was home with his God. He walked close enough to God to walk into eternity.
Looking back now, 30 years later, I see a man who pleased God. A man who pursued God. A man who walked with God. A man who went to heaven earlier than expected. A man like Enoch.
For further study: Job 21:14; Psalm 73:28; Proverbs 8:17
Yes! We are discussing the movie American Gospel at church and the false doctrine of faith healers came up. God is more concerned about our souls than healing our bodies. Not that He cant, but what if He doesnt?
Will we still worship him?
He is still God.
I agree. God wants us to draw near to Him. When we focus on our comfort and physical things we miss the point. God didn’t save us to lavish us with gifts…although sometimes He does. He saved us to bring us close to Himself. Suffering has the ability to bring us close to the God who promises to be with us.