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Enoch: The Walk of Faith That Pleases God

June 18, 2017 Speaker: Afshin Ziafat Series: Genesis: Out of Eden

Passage: Genesis 5:1–5:32

 

TRANSCRIPT

Happy Father's Day! 

These are difficult days in some ways to be a father and point your family to Christ, in an era where so many are turning away in our society from the things of God. I saw a social media post recently after one of the recent tragedies (it's so sad that so many tragedies are happening around the world right now, that you kind of lose track, which is very sad). One of the recent tragedies that happened, I saw a social media post that said something like, "What is wrong with our world?"

And I've thought that too: "What is wrong with the world?" Obviously as Christians, and as people who study God's Word, we know what's wrong with the world. The scripture has told us very clearly in Genesis chapter 3. Matt preached from Genesis 4 last week and alluded back to Genesis 3 where we were months ago. But Genesis 3 records the account of mankind walking away from God and basically going their own way. The scripture teaches us that that is where sin and death entered our human experience. 

And so we live in a broken world full of broken, selfish people. And so we know what's wrong with the world, and last week we saw in Genesis chapter 4 the outworking of the fall of man. First, with the account of Cain's personal, cold-blooded, jealousy-induced murder of his younger brother Abel. Then, in the second half of chapter 4 we see the line of Cain culminating with the declaration of Lamech who is boasting and reveling in the exponential violence that is coming through him when he says (by the way, if you have a Bible, turn to Genesis 4) in verse 24, "If Cain's revenge is sevenfold, then Lamech's is seventy-sevenfold."

So we get this incredible picture of the result of the fall in Genesis chapter 4.

But then at the end of Genesis 4, you get a glimpse of hope with the birth of Seth, who is replacing, so to speak, Abel. So the birth of Seth ushers in a new line of descendants that we're gonna read about in chapter 5. Now on the surface, chapter 5 seems to be nothing more than a genealogy -- it's just a list of names, of descendants from Adam to Noah. 

Most people really become interested in Genesis due to the incredible amount of years that ancient humans lived. And they try to study that and figure out what happened after the flood. They think that maybe something changed in the earth's constitution that caused humans not to live as long. 

But I think that chapter 5 has much more to do than just telling us a list of names and looking at how long humans used to live. I think actually chapter 5 is going to teach us some incredible truths, and you're going to actually see the hope of the gospel in chapter 5. 

And additionally I would say, that on Father's Day, men who are fathers, there is great encouragement for us, and for all, listening today, that in a broken and depraved world that's turning from God, that we can live a life that leaves behind a lasting legacy for the Lord. 

So let's jump in and look at this genealogy, Genesis 5 starting at verse 1:

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth. 4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters. 5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.

6 When Seth had lived 105 years, he fathered Enosh. 7 Seth lived after he fathered Enosh 807 years and had other sons and daughters. 8 Thus all the days of Seth were 912 years, and he died.

9 When Enosh had lived 90 years, he fathered Kenan. 10 Enosh lived after he fathered Kenan 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Thus all the days of Enosh were 905 years, and he died.

12 When Kenan had lived 70 years, he fathered Mahalalel. 13 Kenan lived after he fathered Mahalalel 840 years and had other sons and daughters. 14 Thus all the days of Kenan were 910 years, and he died.

15 When Mahalalel had lived 65 years, he fathered Jared. 16 Mahalalel lived after he fathered Jared 830 years and had other sons and daughters. 17 Thus all the days of Mahalalel were 895 years, and he died.

18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he fathered Enoch. 19 Jared lived after he fathered Enoch 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Thus all the days of Jared were 962 years, and he died.

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with Godafter he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he fathered Lamech. 26 Methuselah lived after he fathered Lamech 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Thus all the days of Methuselah were 969 years, and he died.

28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he fathered a son 29 and called his name Noah, saying, “Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” 30 Lamech lived after he fathered Noah 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Thus all the days of Lamech were 777 years, and he died.

32 After Noah was 500 years old, Noah fathered Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

Now what do you see here? You see ten panels of names from Adam to Noah, ending with the three sons of Noah at the very end of the chapter. And all this genealogy follows this pattern: 

Someone lived x number of years, fathered the one who would be the next entry on the list. Then he lived y more years, and then he fathered sons and daughters, and then it concludes with the total number of years he lived, and records that he died.

And that last point, I believe, is the theme of this chapter. The predominant theme of chapter 5 is death. "And he died" occurs 8 times in this list. So, friends, Genesis 5 seems to be displaying for us the reign of death in contrast to the desire of God. Death, as a result of the Fall, is spreading to all generations of man. Again, I say it's a result of the Fall. We saw this in Genesis 2. God said to Adam and Eve in verse 17, in the day that you eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall surely die.

And so we know in Romans 5:12, that the Bible teaches that "therefore through one man, death and sin spread to all men, for all have sinned." And so this is what chapter is about. Chapter 5 is telling us, as a result of the Fall, mankind has death reigning over us. Every succeeding generation: Death. "And he died . .  . And he died . . . And he died." 

And that's what the Bible teaches us. All of us, friends, are born spiritually dead, separated from God, needing to be made alive in Christ by God's mercy and grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit. All of us are born physically alive, but one day, we will die. And we either enter eternity apart, separated from God, or eternity with God through faith in Christ. And so this is the predominant theme. But I want you to see that there are three rays of hope in this chapter that I want to focus on -- three rays of hope that are deviations from this pattern of death.

  1. The Blessing of Bearing God's Image

The first one is the Blessing of bearing God's image. And it's at the very beginning of the chapter. Look what it says: 

This is the book of the generations of Adam. When God created man, he made him in the likeness of God. 2 Male and female he created them, and he blessed them and named them Man when they were created. 

So chapter 5, friends, starts with a recalling of the blessing that was given to mankind at creation. Man is made in the image and the likeness of God. And so despite the fact that sin and death is spreading throughout all generations, Genesis 5 reminds us that even though that's happening, the image of God is also being spread. Marred by sin, to a degree, for sure. But the image of God is being spread to all mankind. 

This is made even more explicit in verse 3, when it says "When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image." And it's almost as if the scripture here wants us to see that being made in the image of God that came to Adam, is now being spread to all the succeeding generations. 

And so this is huge for us. First we see the blessing of God. He named them Adam and Eve and He blessed them. Remember in Genesis 1:28, same thing: He named them Man and He blessed them and said, be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it. And so I think as you look through this genealogy in chapter 5, especially the phrase for each name, "And he fathered other sons and daughters," it's meant to show us that, yes, in fact, mankind is multiplying and is fruitful. 

So God's faithfulness to His promise is being shown to us. The descendants of Adam are fruitful. But what I want us to see here in this point is, again, the image of God is being passed to all mankind. That is, whatever is being captured in the meaning of being made in the image of God, which I'm gonna talk about in a moment, that is passed down to all mankind. The ability, the spiritual capacity that God imparted to Adam and Eve, to be able to represent God, to subdue the earth, to fill the earth, that is being passed down.

So this has two huge implications for us that I want to hit. The first one is this:

As I've already said, this means ALL mankind. Every race, every nation, ALL mankind is made in the image of God. And this is something we have to hold very seriously. In Genesis 9:6 it says "Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image."

In other words, Genesis wants us to know that this is serious. That we have to hold the sanctity of human life, of all races being equal before God. They're all made in the image of God. So racism and racial superiority -- that, by the way, still rears its ugly head in our society -- as Christians, as a church, we must be strong and denounce it. We must come against it.

The Southern Baptist had their annual convention in Phoenix this past week. They passed a resolution which made a very strong and unified statement about racial unity. They really spoke out condemning all forms of racism, specifically condemning the alt-right movement, which, if you don't know much about, I'm not going to go into it now, but basically the alt-right movement advocates white supremacy. And so they rightly labeled it and every form of racism as being of the devil, and antithetical to the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

And I'm telling you, we've got to do this. I was very pleased to also see that the Southern Baptist convention elected a first vice-president, Walter Strickland, who is African-American, and also their first African-American President of the Pastors Conference, H.B. Charles. 

So you say, Afshin, why are you making such a big deal about this? Man, I love when the church is saying that We are for racial unity, and we come against any kind of racism, any kind of racial superiority. This is serious with God. First of all, it's an affront to God because all men are made in His image. Remember when the Jewish people came from James' church, and Peter withdrew from meeting with the Gentiles, and Paul comes and he confronts him. What does he say? You are not walking in step with the gospel. Why? Because the gospel reminds me that all of us, including I, was once not a people of God. 

But by God's mercy, I am now made one of His people. And therefore, I should not look at myself as being superior to any race, any skin color. And so it's an affront to God, it's an affront to the gospel, and I would say that it's an affront to God's plan. You know why? Because God's plan is to draw people from every nation, so that one day, as we read about in Revelation, God will be on His throne, surrounded by a number of people from every tribe, tongue and nation, all declaring that Salvation belongs to our God.

So if you have any kind of racial superiority in your heart, it's an affront to God, an affront to the gospel, and an affront to God's plan. So that's the first thing I want you to see here.

But secondly, I want you to see again that though the world is succumbing to death, and sin is spreading, and we live in a depraved generation, what we're reminded of right at the beginning of Genesis 5 is, if you’re a follower of Christ, you are called as His ambassador, to image Christ to the world. This is what we read about in the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount was Jesus teaching His disciples what kingdom living ought to look like. 

And so we, as a church, are a kingdom outpost in a crooked and perverse generation. And we are to be, as the Sermon on the Mount taught us, the salt of the earth, pushing back the decay of society; we're to be a light of the world, shining the better way of Christ -- shining the truth of the gospel. We are to image God to those around us. So that's the first major point that I want you to see; the first ray of hope -- that we have the image of God, and that as followers of Christ, we have a calling as His ambassadors to image Him to the world.

  1. Faith that Walks with God

The second thing I want you to see is, How do I image Him, and that's the second ray of hope you see in this chapter, and it's the one I want to spend the most time on, and that's the faith that walks with God. So the faith that walks with God. And I think this is going to really instruct us, especially those who are fathers. Let's look at Genesis 5, verses 21-24, the life of Enoch:

21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. 22 Enoch walked with Godafter he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. 24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

Now you ought to say, Wow, something changed." You've got this refrain, over and over again like a drumbeat, all this "And he died . .  . And he died . . . And he died." Then you get to Enoch, and where you expect to see "Enoch lived this many years, and he died," instead you get, "Enoch walked with God, and  he was not, for God took him."

And by the way, the placement of Enoch's name in this genealogy could not be any more intentionally dramatic. Because Enoch is the seventh in this line that goes through Seth from Adam to Noah. In the line that we saw of Cain's genealogy in chapter 4, Lamech was in the seventh position. So Lamech, the one, again, who was boasting about the incredible death that was coming through his life. Here you have in the seventh position, this one who walked with God and didn't taste death, but was taken by God.

So you see two roads here. One road leads to death, and one road leads to life. But again, I want you to see, fathers, on Father's Day, take major note of what it says here. I think it's so interesting: Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah. In other words, after Methuselah was born, for three hundred years. Fathers, all who listen, but I want to press in on this Father's Day with you men: What a simple and powerful statement we get. In the crooked and perverse generation we live in, how can we live a life as fathers that leaves a legacy with your children in following hard after Jesus? 

Here it is, very simply put: WALK WITH GOD. That's it. Walk with God. If you don't hear anything else I say this morning, Walk with God. That's what Enoch did. More important than building your resumé; climbing the ladder of your field and your career; more important than retiring at some age you have in your mind. More important than anything else is this simple but powerful mission statement that any man ought to live by, and here it is: He walked with God. And I'm telling you, fathers, if that's what we do, we can leave, despite this wave of debauchery, this wave of running after things outside of God, we can leave a legacy in our children and in people who are watching us in this world.  

And so, what does walking with God mean? It means at least a couple of things to me. First of all, walking with God means a personal, intimate relationship with God. Let me say that again: A personal, men -- not through your pastor, your church, your community group leader, or through your wife. A PERSONAL, intimate relationship with God. Walking with God, by the way, is applied to Enoch and Noah, you'll see in the next chapter, chapter 6:9. Again, you'll see -- did he leave a legacy? Yeah, look: Enoch's descendant, Noah, walked with God. And so, I'm telling you, this walking with God describes a close, personal communion with God, as if you’re walking by His side. The minor prophets used this phrase to describe the intimate walk of the priests, who would enter the Holy of holies to speak with God. 

So listen, man, if you are a Christian, you know what Jesus has opened up to you when He died on the cross and He said, "It is finished," and that veil that separated the people of God from the presence of God was torn in two, that you can actually commune with God. You can pray to Him through Jesus in His name; you can speak to Him, and you can hear from Him. You can have a relationship with Him. 

I think of the two who walked on the road to Emmaus after Christ's resurrection. They hadn't seen Christ resurrected, and they were downcast. The resurrected Christ comes, and He walks with them on the road. He opens their minds to see the scripture; He breaks bread with them, and then He vanishes. And there in Luke 24 it says that they turned to each other and said, "Were not our hearts burning within us when He walked with us, when He talked with us?" 

So I'm telling you, we've got to pursue -- by the way, our men's study that started this past Thursday and is gonna be every Thursday night for the next 5 weeks, we're working through "The Pursuit of God" by A.W. Tozer. And I recommend you to get that book and come join us on Thursday nights. In that book, he's saying how we settle for just a shallow, I know about God, I know some theology; but we don't have this pursuit of God, that I want to know Him; I'm desperate for Him like the deer is desperate for the water brook. 

And so, this is what walking with God means. It also means, by the way, a submission to God's ways. It indicates deep obedience to God. Walking with Him implies that you’re walking in His direction. You're not walking in your own way. It implies that He is leading you down the path of life. It means that you believe with all your heart what Psalm 16:11 says: "You have made known to me the path of life. In Your presence there  is fullness of joy, and at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." You believe that God's ways, following Christ's ways, as revealed to us in the scripture, leads to life. You believe that walking away from it leads to emptiness, leads ultimately to death.

You know, Enoch is mentioned a couple of places in the New Testament. One in Jude, verses 14-15. It says that Enoch actually was prophesying about the coming judgment against all who live in an ungodly manner. In other words, walk away. So here was a guy -- fathers -- who, he walked with God intimately, had a close relationship. And man, he submitted his life to God's way.

Let me give you a little bit more on this. I think we get a little bit more on what it means to walk with God. Turn with me to the other place where Enoch is mentioned in the New Testament, Hebrews chapter 11. You got to see this, in Hebrews 11. I want you to see, what does it look like to walk with God in this kind of personal relationship with Him that really reflects Him to the world? I want you to see this. Hebrews 11 is the Hall of Faith. The great men and women who came before us in our faith. By the way, Hebrews 11 verse 4 through 7 is essentially a recap of Genesis 4-11 that we're walking through. It starts with Abel and goes all the way through Noah.

But I want you to see this in Hebrews 11:1. Look what it says:

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible. 4 By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts. And through his faith, though he died, he still speaks. (There's the lasting legacy. Now look at this, verse 5:) By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. (Now look what it says:) Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.  

So stop there, before we read on. What we get there is two things: Enoch -- how'd he walk with God? He lived a life of faith, and that life of faith pleased God. Now if you just read verse 5, you still don't know what it looks like to live a life of faith. And you still don't know how that connects to pleasing God. But you get it in the very next verse. Look at verse 6:

6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.

And there is our answer. What does it look like to walk with God? It is living a life of faith that embraces and reflects to the world the existence of God and the excellence of God. A faith that says, When you look at my life, you can see that I believe God exists, and you can see that I believe God is excellent. 

He is greater treasure than anything in this world. That's what this looks like. And what I love, by the way, don't miss this. Verse 6 is basically corresponding to verse 1, our definition of faith. So in verse1, look at this really quickly, it says that "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for." And in verse 6 you get, "Faith comes to God as one who believes that He rewards those who seek Him."

So there it is. Verse 1 says, faith is being assured of things hoped for, verse 6 says, here's how faith acts: It comes to God and believes that He is a rewarder -- the things hoped for, of those who seek Him.

And then I want you to see how, look at verse 1 again. Faith is the conviction of things not seen. Well, we don't see God, right? Now look at verse 6. When we come to God, we must first believe that He exists. You see it? So verse 6 is fleshing out the definition we find in verse 1. Faith is believing God exists -- things not seen. And faith is living life that He exists. And faith is believing that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. It's being assured of things hoped for.

So let's hit those two things before we move on to the last point.

If you want to live a life of faith that blesses your children, and blesses those around you, my life ought to be lived in a way that the world sees, 1) that I believe that God exists -- that I show by my life that God exists. Do you live a life that shows you believe that God exists? That the existence of God or the presence of God in your life shape the way you live your life. What you pursue; where you spend your time, your money, your energy, your focus. 

Again, I think this primarily means that therefore we are intentional about spending time with God. We believe He exists. So, fathers, here's a great goal. I don't want my girls to grow up and say, "You know, my dad always told me that God exists, but his schedule surely didn't. His priorities surely didn't; his time surely didn't. His life surely didn't." I don't want Elise and Ainsley just to hear me tell them God exists. I want them to look at my life, and my LIFE tells them that there's a God. He exists, He's worth giving your life to and following Him. 

Friends, this means that you have a holy fear that God is with you and sees everything. You aren't prone to drifting from God when the spotlight of the world or your church friends is taken off of you. In other words, your children don't see you act one way at church and then see you act a whole different way at home. You live with a holy fear and constantly in your mind the existence of God. Proverbs 15:3, "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on both the evil and the good." Or Hebrews 4:13, "No creature is hidden from His sight; all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account." 

Believing in the existence of God means that you trust Him when things don't go your way. A few days ago, I had kind of a "dark night of the soul" moment where I was taking lies, remembering back of some decisions I'd made, thinking, "What if I'd made that decision, or that decision? Where could my life and ministry be?" And I started getting anxious. And I thought, What am I doing? God put 1 Peter 5 on my mind. "Humble yourself before the Lord. Cast your anxieties on Him, and He will lift you up In due time, for He cares for you." So I had to humble myself and remember, wait, Do you believe God exists? If you do, He's sovereign! You can't make this decision and thwart His plan for your life. He has you where He has you for a reason, and He's got a plan and purpose for your life. And to constantly remember that He cares for you. 

This means, friend, living life believing the existence of God, means that you take steps of faith that would make no sense to the world around you, but you jump out with joy because your heart isn't to please man but God. Galatians 1, Paul says, Man, if I'm  seeking to be a man-pleaser, I would not be a servant of Christ today. That's true for Paul, man. He stepped out to follow God. 

You ought to look at someone's life and say that they really believe God exists. You do things like leave your father and his plan for you to be a doctor because you believe God exists and He's got a calling. That's my story, but so many could testify the same way. Does your life show that? When I look at scripture, I see so many examples of this. This is faith, being so assured of the existence of God, that it informs the way I live my life. And all who see it can see that you believe God is leading your life. 

You don't have to go to Noah and ask him if he believes that God exists, as he's building the ark for a hundred-plus years. He would look at you and say, Are you kidding me with that question? Look at this ark I'm building. Do you think I believe that God exists? 

You don't have to ask Abraham as he's laying down his son on the altar of sacrifice, Do you believe that God exists? The one who laid down his only son, because he believed that God is able to provide for Himself a sacrifice. Do you think he doesn't believe God exists? You don't have to ask him that question. You could ask him a lot of other questions, but not that one. His life shows you he believes God exists!

You don't have to ask Daniel, Do you believe God exists? When he bows down to worship his God after a law has passed in the land that anyone who does that will be thrown into the den of lions. You don't have to ask him if he believes God. You don't have to ask Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego if they believe God exists when they are told to bow down before an idol, and they refuse to do so, knowing that it means the fiery furnace for them. Their life is declaring: I believe God exists.

So I'm saying to you, live that kind of faith out. Do your children see that? Do people around you see that? 

Secondly, not just that He exists but that He's excellent. In other words, that He is treasure to satisfy the deepest parts of a man's soul, a woman's soul, and you believe that in your life you’re showing that He is more to be treasured than anything this world can offer me. And you’re showing that by the way you live your life to your children. And, by the way, the world looks at you in shock that you’re not running after what they run after. As 1 Peter 4:4 says, they actually look at you and they see you’re not in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you for it. They're surprised.

And so you don't have to, for instance, go ask Moses, Do you believe God is excellent? In other words, to be more cherished, that He satisfies more than the world. You don't have to ask Moses that, who the scripture says, "He considered the reproach of Christ greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt." (Hebrews 11:26) He walked away from all the treasures of the world, because he wanted God. You don't have to ask him, do you believe in the excellence of God? 

This means that you live life with an eternal perspective. You know that what really satisfies the heart of a man or a woman is a renewed relationship with God that comes through Jesus Christ. And you've tasted it, and you know the fear of God, what's coming for those who don't know Jesus, and you go out and you persuade others. It means you live with an eternal perspective. You know that time is short, and you live life on that mission: To make Him known. 

This is Paul. You don't have to ask Paul, Do you believe Jesus is excellent? Do you believe He is worth risking and losing your position in life to make sure others know it? Paul, who left his standing in Judaism. In Philippians 1 he says, My chains are both a defense and a confirmation of the gospel. Sitting in prison, his life is telling you that Jesus is more excellent than anything the world can give you. You don't have to ask him that question.

So does my life reflect that? Man, when you do, when you walk this kind of faith, one more thing before we go to the last point. What I love about this story of Enoch here, this ray of hope, is that you live a life of faith that pleases God, believing that He exists, and that He is excellent, that He rewards those who seek Him, you believe that, then guess what: You walk with Him. You also are like Enoch. Death will not have the final word for you. And that, here in Genesis 5, you see a pointing forward to the gospel. 

This is the gospel! Those of who us who put our faith in Christ, the scripture says that death is not the final word for us. Death is a doorway, actually, to what our greatest joy is, and that's eternal life in God's presence. Those of us who belong to Jesus and are still alive when Christ returns, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15, like Enoch, it says about Enoch that he was taken. We don't get a whole lot more than that, but probably much like Elijah, he was translated into glory without suffering and tasting death. 

Well, guess what? Those who are Christians when Christ returns and are still alive? That's what the Bible says will happen to us. 1 Corinthians 15, We will be translated into glory. In the twinkling of an eye, we shall all be changed. And we'll be with Him in glory.

And those of us who are dead in Christ, when Christ returns, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15, that our perishable mortal bodies will put on imperishable, immortal bodies. We will be raised to life. This is what Jesus gives us. He says in John 11:25-26, I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live.

And so this is the hope of the gospel. So, fathers, do you walk with God like this? All, do you walk with God like this? Does your life live to please Him alone, to reflect the existence and excellence of God?

  1. The Hope of Relief from the Curse

And then one final ray of hope, and we'll be done. And it's at the end of the chapter, and it's the hope of relief from the curse. And we'll hit this one very quickly. Look at this, the hope of relief from the curse. Look at the end, at Genesis 5:28-29, when Lamech had Noah, he said this about his name. 

“Out of the ground that the Lord has cursed, this one shall bring us relief from our work and from the painful toil of our hands.” 

So let me say this quickly: In a broken world, under the reign of death, you see here in Noah a harbinger of the hope we have in Christ -- a foreshadowing of the hope we have in Christ. 

So this third significant departure from the pattern of the genealogy reminds us, again, the curse of the fall is that we live in a world that is very difficult -- that has hardship in it. Remember the curse that was given to Adam because of the Fall? Outside of the garden, you will work, and it will be toilsome. It will be hard work. And so what you see here, again, is that Noah's life is a pointing forward to Jesus, who ushers in our final rest. Hebrews chapters 3 and 4 speak of this, that those who believe in Christ are entering into a rest that is coming for us. 

Yes, this world is gonna be tough, but that's where we put our hope, because of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says it this way: "This light, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen."

So what I love is this: Enoch walked with God, and guess what? He escaped the curse of death. Noah, a foreshadowing of Christ, will be the one who brings us relief from the curse of sin. And so, one day, if you walk with God through faith in Christ, death will not have the final word. You will be with God forever, and you will have a resurrected body, never to sin or suffer again. So that's the hope of the gospel in Genesis 5. 

What a great chapter. What a great word. Enoch walked with God. May we just take up that simple mission statement. Lord, let my life reflect to my children and to all who see me, Your existence and Your excellence. Let's pray. 

Father, we love You. God, we thank You for Your word. We thank You, Jesus, for the life of Enoch. We thank You for the example he is for us. God, may we show the world in our life that You exist, that You are worth pursuing, that You are guiding our life. And that You alone satisfy, and we need nothing else. And Jesus, may our lives declare that to the world. Thank You, Jesus, that You give us the victory over death. In a chapter full of death, there is a ray of hope. Thank You that death is swallowed up in victory because of You. We worship You. In Christ's name we pray, Amen. 

More in Genesis: Out of Eden

July 23, 2017

Noah: The Saint/The Sinner

July 16, 2017

God's Covenant With Noah

July 9, 2017

De-Creation: Noah's Flood