“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men – Jude 14.
Jude tells us that Enoch was a preacher who lived in the time before the flood and who preached against the ungodliness of his generation. Enoch had a message of judgment that centered on the ungodliness of his contemporaries. The text uses the word ungodly four times. It was a true message, since his was a particularly wicked culture, but the message was also unpopular.
Genesis tells the secret of Enoch’s success in such a dismal time. Genesis 5:24 says, “Enoch walked with God.” This was an age in which hardly anyone else was walking with God. Certainly his ungodly cousins (Irad, Mehujael, Methushael, Lamech and his sons), of whom we read in Genesis 4, were not. Like Joseph, Enoch lived in a time and place when sin was ascendant. People were undoubtedly saying, “Why should you stand apart? Why should you think you’re better than other people? Come down off your high horse! Do what others do!” Enoch did not yield to that argument because he was walking with God, and this was the most important factor in his life. As long as he was walking with God, well—not everyone was sinning. As long as he was standing for righteousness, others might stand for righteousness too. Hebrews 11:5 adds: “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.”
Enoch pleased God! As long as you and I are in this world, we must serve God first and hope that in pleasing him and receiving his blessings we also please men and women and find their favor. For most of us this is the story of a lifetime. But let us observe that there are times when it is not possible to serve or please both God and man. When that happens, we must be clear in our minds that we are to please God first of all and then actually choose for him, whatever the consequences. Enoch was undoubtedly despised by his contemporaries; he was certainly ridiculed. But he stood for God and was vindicated in due time. We need a generation of men and women like that today. We need Christians who serve humanity as they serve Jesus, but who serve Jesus above all and listen for his commendation: “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” (Matt. 25:23).
Sermon Excerpt adapted from: Boice, James Montgomery (2011-09-01). Come to the Waters: Daily Bible Devotions for Spiritual Refreshment (Kindle Locations 9585-9605). Baker Book Group. Kindle