Friendship With God - A Look at the Life of Enoch
Near the beginning of biblical history, we find a man known for friendship with God. We do not know much about the life of Enoch, but we do know that “after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters” (Gen. 5:22). It seems that, at the age of 65, when Enoch’s son Methuselah was born, Enoch experienced a personal revival. From then on, in his life of 365 years, he walked faithfully with God. The author makes sure to tell us that Enoch continued to have other children. In other words, he didn’t draw away from normal life and live in a cave as a mystic. He was a family man, with a wife and children and responsibilities. Yet he learned to cultivate intimacy with God in the midst of daily life. As a result, in the space of three verses, the fact that Enoch walked faithfully is mentioned twice. This repetition is not by accident.
The point is, in the midst of people who were far from God (in the days leading up to the Flood), Enoch cultivated a life of friendship with God that so set him apart that in the end he did not die; God simply took him: “Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away” (Gen. 5:24). Interestingly, Enoch’s father lived 962 years, and Enoch’s son Methuselah lived 969 years, yet Enoch lived only 365 years. His life was only a third of the length of the lives of his contemporaries. This was not because of an accident or disease but because God took him. From this, we can perhaps assume that Enoch was so closely connected to God that, before the normal age of death, he ceased to live on earth simply because he no longer belonged on earth but in Heaven. We don’t know for sure why God took Enoch when He did, because the Bible doesn’t say, but this seems like a reasonable explanation. The Hebrews 11 summary of Enoch’s life certainly indicates this possibility: By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.” For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God” (Hebrews 11:5).
In his pursuit of God, Enoch became so pleasing to God that, without passing through death, he went directly to Heaven. Enoch was an anomaly in his day, at a time in history when people had very little revelation of God. Now, all these years later, we have the Spirit of God living within us, and all that Enoch experienced (and more!) is available to us.
This is what it looks like to cultivate the inward life of prayer— living life with God as though He is manifestly walking beside us as a friend. Of course, He is walking with us all the time, but because we do not see Him with our physical eyes, we can forget He’s there. Cultivating the inward life involves remembering His presence with us at all times and interacting with Him as we would if our closest friend was spending the day with us. Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight” (NASB).
When we acknowledge God's presence with us at all times, we are able to walk in greater intimacy with Him.