In the antediluvian chapter of humanity’s early twilight, there is no more monotonous record of names and numbers than the fifth chapter of Genesis. It is like a walk in a forest of long-lived, leafless oaks—one biographical epitaph after another—they lived and they died. Humanity had become a decaying wilderness of wickedness: “The whole earth was corrupt and filled with violence.”
In the heart of the wilderness, however, one lone oak was green: Enoch walked with God.
A remarkable record this oak’s life story. He lived 365 years summed up in four words: Enoch walked with God. Douglas Southall Freeman’s biography of Robert E. Lee is 4 volumes, while Sandburg’s Abraham Lincoln is six. The summary description of Enoch’s life is pointed and pregnant: he walked with God. One dip of the pen, a few seconds’ stroke across the page, and Enoch’s name is forever inscribed in the Word of God. Forever chiseled in God’s Hall of Fame: Enoch walked with God.
Walking with God implies harmony, holiness, humility.
Harmony. “How can two walk together except they be agreed?” Enoch loved what God loves and hated what God hates. Harmony for Enoch came with obedience to God. So it is with us. When our heart is keyed to His heart and keeps time with the divine pulse, then it can be said of us: “he walked with God.”
Holiness. Nothing speaks so loudly as the company we keep. “Be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.” Moses’ and Stephen’s face shone brightly. Why? They walked with God. We are shaped into the likeness of the One in whose presence we daily live.
Humility. The worm of pride ever threatens to gnaw into the fruit of the Spirit in your life. The poison of pride ever sits inconspicuously on life’s shelf. Pride is beside you in the crowded highway and the lonely street. It follows you to the office, and back home again. It dogs your footsteps when you go to church and kneels beside you when you pray. It is your constant companion, arriving early and staying late.
Satan’s pride banished him from heaven; Adam and Eve’s pride banished them from His garden. Pride dethroned kings, defrocked priests, and destroyed prophets in the Old Testament. Of the seven things God hates, first on His list is pride (Proverbs 6:16–19).
Pride never walks with God. Even the donkey that brought Jesus into Jerusalem knew that the applause was not for him. “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that He may lift you up….”
This new year, acquaint yourself with the lone oak. . . . Enoch walked with God.*
*Some material adapted from Malcolm Macleod, Heavenly Harmonies for Earthly Living (Chicago: Fleming Revell, 1901).