Today’s Scripture: Genesis 5:21-24
21 When Enoch was 65 years old, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After the birth of Methuselah, Enoch lived in close fellowship with God for another 300 years, and he had other sons and daughters. 23 Enoch lived 365 years, 24 walking in close fellowship with God. Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.
I almost skipped Chapter 5. We are making our way through the book of Genesis chapter by chapter in our devotionals and I almost just omitted chapter 5. After all, there is nothing here but a list of names of really old people and their children.
This genealogical list follows a very distinct pattern. If you read the whole chapter you kind of fall into a rhythm – each verse following the exact same patter just with different names and different ages. But something happens in verse 22 that does not happen anywhere else in the list. The text adds the phrase “Enoch lived in close fellowship with God.” And then in verse 23 it adds that Enoch lived “walking in close fellowship with God.” Finally, instead of telling us that Enoch died, the text says he “disappeared, because God took him” – literally “he was no more”.
What was it that made Enoch special? Why did he deserve to break the textual pattern? We really don’t know. It’s almost as if the writer is winking at something that early readers would have been familiar with – maybe another book or scroll. In fact, Enoch has been the subject of much speculation because of these textual anomalies.
I think I’m less concern about the “why” than the “what”. The fact is, Enoch had a special relationship with God – so much so that when his name came up on a genealogical list the person making the list HAD to comment on it. Enoch walked in close fellowship with God – that’s all we need to know.
I wonder, hundreds of years of now when my name comes up on an ancestral list that a distant relative is making, what will my notation be? Will it just be a birth date and a death date? Will I just be a marker on the way to other, more interesting people? I know that ancestry lists don’t often include descriptors. But if they did, I would like mine to be like Enoch’s – he walked in close fellowship with God.
I could try and manipulate that descriptor onto my name – my history. But the fact is that the only way to be remembered for waling in close fellowship with God is to actually walk in close fellowship with God.
We are remembered for the life we live. Even if we are nearing the end of life – we can still walk with God. And that walking with God will make an impact no matter what our age. It will be like a pebble dropped in a pond. We may not have a descriptor next to our name like Enoch – but the ripples will be there.
God we walk to walk in close fellowship with you. We want our lives to make an impact in the world long after we have left it. Help us to draw near to you this day and in all the days of our lives.