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the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 5

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 24

THE WITNESS OF ENOCH

‘Enoch walked with God; and he was not: for God took him.’

Genesis 5:24

The record of one man is given to us as an oasis in the chapter, and he is one of only two men of whom it is recorded in the Old Testament that they ‘walked with God’ ( Genesis 6:9).

I. The fact of fellowship with God is suggested by this phrase.—Several aspects of our ‘walk’ are emphasised in Scripture. ‘Walk before Me’ ( Genesis 17:1) implying sincerity; ‘Walk after the Lord your God’ ( Deuteronomy 13:4), suggesting obedience; ‘Walking in Him’ ( Colossians 2:6), telling of union; ‘Walking with God,’ meaning fellowship. This is life’s ideal and the culmination of God’s purpose for man.

II. The commencement of this fellowship is suggested (verse 22).—Enoch does not seem to have walked with God until the birth of his son. May it not have been the coming into his life of that little life, God’s gift to him, that led to this close fellowship?

III. The continuance of fellowship.—It lasted three hundred years. This was not easy. Enoch was no dreamy sentimental idealist. His life had in it the real difficulty of testimony against evil ( Jude 1:14-15). The judgment on the line of the Cainites had to be proclaimed, and this is never anything but an irksome and trying task. Like the rest of mankind in later days, Enoch did not find it easy to walk with God.

IV. The culmination of fellowship.—‘He was not, for God took him.’ The life of faith was thus crowned by entrance upon the life of perfect fellowship above. ‘They shall walk with Me in white.’

—Rev. W. H. Griffith-Thomas, D.D.

Illustration

(1)‘There always have been and will be these two families in the world—the ‘children of this world’ and the ‘children of light,’ the tares and the wheat, the goats and the sheep. We must come out, and be separate, and walk with God, else we shall be dragged down to the world’s level. The strong, healthy days of the Church have always been those when she has dwelt in the holes and caves of the earth, and standing outside has brought her influence to bear on the world that is hurrying down the primrose path to its doom.’

(2)‘The man best known and observed of all while he lived was so taken, that no one could say that he was lost in some of its mountain solitudes, or drowned in its floods, or carried away by violence or guile, but so as to show to others the pathway of life, and a glimpse of glory. What could be a more impressive fact, than that the man who had foretold the future appearance of the Judge of all the earth should, after a life of present worth, be advanced to a future of glory! Beautiful things never look so beautiful as when they are taking their leave, and Enoch’s leave-taking was that which, of all others, was best fitted to illuminate the teaching of his life, and revive that teaching in all memories. Beheld as a spectacle, or ascertained as a fact, that translation would give new life and power to his teaching, and until the Flood, would be the standing evidence to which piety appealed.’

Verse 29

THE FIRST TRUE COMFORTER

‘This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands.’

Genesis 5:29

These words, used by Lamech, apply far more truly to the descendant of Noah after the flesh, even Jesus Christ.

I. When our Lord appeared among men, the world was in almost as sad and hopeless a condition as when Lamech looked around him. Among the Gentiles there was ignorance, darkness, and false imaginations, among the chosen people there was hardness and impenitence. Christ comforted His disciples after His resurrection by raising up the temple of their wrecked faith, as He raised again the temple of His own body. He comforted them with the assurance that their faith was not in vain, that He had the keys of death and hell, and was able to succour to the uttermost those who trusted in Him.

II. The risen Christ comforted also the fathers of the ancient covenant.—Moses and Elias appeared unto Him on Tabor, speaking with him of the things concerning His passion. The ancient patriarchs could not enter into heaven till the gates were opened by the cross of Christ, and the handwriting that was against all sinners was taken away.

III. The resurrection of Christ is a joy and comfort to us also:

(a) because in Him a way of safety was opened to the world;

(b) because He will repay a hundredfold all that is done for Him.

Rev. S. Baring-Gould.

Illustration

‘The comfort that comes into the world with children. These words of Lamech are the permanent inscription in the horoscope which parents everywhere and always see over the cradle of the latest born. There is a bright prophecy of God concerning the future in this invincible hopefulness of the parental heart. The security we have for this in the great fact of our redemption. Our Noah has been born; the Rest-giver, strong Burden-bearer, all-pitying and all-suffering Saviour. Noah was a preacher of righteousness, but Jesus Christ brings and gives righteousness, instilling it into every believing heart. Noah was a preserver of the world in his own family from a temporary flood, Jesus Christ makes this world itself the Ark which He commands, steering it through this great and wide sea of space and time in safety.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Genesis 5". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/genesis-5.html. 1876.
 
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