1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for.
3By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. 4By faith Abel offered God a better sacrifice than Cain did. By faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings. And by faith he still speaks, even though he is dead.
5By 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. 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.
Surely one of the greatest as well as interesting people from the bible was a man named Enoch. Who was Enoch? (Genesis 5) Enoch was the son of Cain. The same Cain who murdered his brother out of jealousy. Enoch was the father of Methuselah (which means "when he dies, it shall come"). This referred to the judement of the flood. Methuselah lived longer than anyone else in the bible, 969 years! God allowed him to live that long because of His mercy and grace. God did not want to flood the earth. He have man chance after chance to love and accept Him.
Enoch was also one of two men recorded in the bible who did not face death. Why did God take him? Verse 5 says it was because he pleased God. Enoch was a man who was familiar with God because he walked with Him for 300 years. To be clear, to walk with God, you follow HIS direction, not the other way around.
Enoch was favored by God, because of how he lived. He lived in a corrupt world, but he was not, himself corrupt. He was faithful to God when very few were. It seems clear that if we honor God, He will honor us.
14Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: "See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones 15to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him." 16These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.
What was not directly mentioned today by our pastor, but immediately popped in my head, is how people sometimes justify their actions, by placing the blame on others. Enoch's father murdered his own brother. Now it is possible that Cain repented and changed his ways. But on the surface, he was not the greatest role model to have lived. What this means is this - we are not defined by what our parents have done - or not done in their lives. We are defined by what WE decide to do. Who we decide to follow. What actions we decide to take. Enoch's father was a murderer. But Enoch CHOSE to walk with God.