ENOCH; Or, The Young Man's Walk
James Smith, 1856
quickened by the Holy Spirit of God — for there is no fellowship between the living God and dead sinners. He was made alive unto God by the secret working and invincible power of the blessed Spirit. We must be born again, we must be generated anew, before we are capacitated to walk with God. Without this change — we are neither capable of perceiving, desiring, or enjoying the society of the Most High God.
"Enoch walked with God." Genesis 5:24
There is often a striking adaptation in the names of people whose history is recorded in God's Word — to their characters. The all-presiding mind of God, seems to have influenced their parents in naming them.
Enoch signifies instructed, or dedicated — and he was evidently taught of God, and consecrated to God. The Holy Spirit gave him a correct view of himself and the world, and revealed the glorious and gracious character of Jehovah to him. He knew God, he felt the need of God, he had faith in God, and, therefore he "walked with God." He was dedicated to God, not by any outward ordinance — but by the inward consecration of the Holy Spirit; and other consecration is of little account, except it is preceded by this.
"Enoch walked with God," — then he was
"Enoch walked with God," — then he wasreconciled to God; for "how can two walk together, unless they are agreed?" But God and the sinner in his natural state, are not agreed upon any one point. Man is God's enemy. Hatred against God, lurks and works in his heart. His carnal mind is enmity against God, and until this is changed and renewed — he cannot, he will not, walk with God. Nothing could be more irksome to him. There is nothing he more dislikes — as God's company; and the further from God — the better pleased he is. Until God is seen in Jesus, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them — until God is beheld as "gracious, merciful, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth," — until the love of God shines forth before the soul, and it perceives that God is love — there is no reconciliation, for only divine love will subdue our enmity and change the bias of our minds.
"Enoch walked with God," — then he waslike-minded with God. If we walk together — we must be going the same road; and if we walk comfortably together — we must . . .
Godliness is godlikeness, and before Enoch could walk with God — he must have been a godly man, renewed in the spirit of his mind, and changed into the divine image and likeness.
Sinners and God are going in opposite directions, aiming at opposite objects, and seeking opposite ends; so that it is impossible for an unconverted sinner to walk with God, enjoy God, or arrive where God unfolds his glories, and feasts his saints.
"Enoch walked with God," — then he becamefamiliar with God. If we walk together long, and converse together freely — we shall be sure to become intimate; especially if our tastes, pursuits, and objects agree. The secret of true happiness, is being familiar with God:
So that it becomes natural to turn to God upon all occasions, to consult him, to confer with him, and to seek his approbation — to turn everything into prayer or praise.
We cannot walk closely with God without becoming familiar
with God. Familiarity with God will extract . . .
the sting from our troubles,
the poison from our fears, and
the bitterness from death!
Oh, to be growing familiar with God!
"Enoch walked with God," — then he washappy in the company of God. He had no wish to exchange it for the company of any of his creatures. As we . . .
And if at any time we miss his presence, or lose the savor of his fellowship — we are something like the restless patriarch, who cried, "If only I knew how to find Him, so that I could go to His throne. I would plead my case before Him and fill my mouth with arguments."
"Enoch walked with God," — then he daily aimed toplease God. It is impossible to walk with God — except as we realize that it is our duty to please him, and to aim at this habitually. The man who walks as Enoch did, will ask, in reference to his motives, plans, pursuits, objects, society, and aims, "Will this please God?" If he perceives that anything is likely to please him — he will encourage it; if not, he will discard it.
No wonder that some of us know so little of the blessedness of close walking with God, when we are so little concerned to please him. And no wonder that we so seldom seek to please him, seeing we live and walk at such a distance from him.
"Enoch walked with God," — thenhe lived, moved, and acted as under the eye of God. This is a most holy principle — to do everything that we do in the world, in the family, and in the church — as under the immediate eye of God. To look up in the midst of every action, and whisper, "You see me O God!" Oh, to live under this impression increasingly from day to day!
Here, then, is an example for young people, especially young men. Enoch was but young, when he began to walk with God; but he pursued that course for more than three hundred years. Nor did he leave the world, or the family, or retire to some mountain or cave — to do it. No! He did so in active life, as a man, a father, and a member of God's church.
Enoch, my young friends, speaks to you!
Enoch says to us: "Seek divine teaching!" It was because he was taught of God, and deeply taught — that he became so exemplary, so familiar with God, so pleasant in the sight of God, that at last he "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!"
Enoch says to us: "Dedicate yourself to his service!" Enoch was dedicated to God; first his person, and then all that he had. Neither himself nor his property were his — all was the Lord's. He gave himself unreservedly to God, he consecrated all he had to the service of God, and he kept close to the Lord's side all through his wilderness journey.
Enoch says to us: "Believe the divine testimony, that God is love." This lay at the root of his holiness, and was the source of his exemplary conduct. Had he not believed that God was love, he would have never chosen his company, or become familiar with him in his daily walk.
Our course is always influenced by our faith, and our faith is influenced by our fellowship with God.
Enoch says to us: "Accept the Lord's invitation to come to him and walk with him." The voice of God cries, "Come unto me!" Jesus adds, "Abide with me!" Distance from God is the source of all our misery — and nothing but nearness to God will make us truly happy. How long has God been calling to some of us in his blessed Word, and saying, "Come unto me;" and we have not come yet. Let us delay no longer — but at once do as Enoch did, come to God, and abide with God.
Enoch says to us: "Trust in the Lord's gracious and most faithful promises." He did so, and proved the Lord's words to be true. The promises of God to us are exceeding great and very precious; but they do us no good — unless we believe them, trust in them, and expect the Lord to make them good. Unless we receive the promises as from God's hand, and place our trust and confidence in them — we shall not be properly affected by them; but if we do, they will draw us near to God, lead us to repose in God, and teach us to walk with God.
Enoch says to us: "Realize the presence of God as with you. Walk by his holy Word. Aim singly at his glory." God, as our father, goes every step with his children, gives them the precepts of his holy Word to direct them, sets his own glory before them to be aimed at by them — and so secures them safety, holiness, and happiness.
Dear friends, we walk with God — or do we walk away from God? Which is it? Every step we take is in the right, or wrong direction. Which is it?
If we would walk with God, we must converse with
him daily. Do you? Have you been in his company today? Has he heard your
voice at the throne? And have you heard his voice in his holy Word? If God
is not your companion — then Satan is. If you walk with God — then you are
going to Heaven. If you walk with Satan — then you are going to Hell! A man
is generally known by the company he keeps, for we insensibly imbibe
the spirit of our companions. If we walk with God — we shall imbibe the
spirit of God, and the spirit of God is holy. "He who walks with wise men
will be wise;" but he who walks with the infinitely wise God will be more
wise to salvation,
wise to escape danger,
wise to secure good,
wise to gain honor and renown,
wise to win souls.
Walk, then, with God, and peace at present, and glory forever — shall be yours!