Yearly Archives: 2010

The Enigmatic Enoch

Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him. – Genesis 5:24

Just try and picture the story behind this brief yet enigmatic statement. The story is set some time after the Fall of the human race. Before the Fall Adam was accustomed to having God come and walk with him in the cool of the day. That fellowship was shattered when Adam chose to disobey God’s direct command.

Several generations later Enoch, a godly man is portrayed as someone who walked with God. This implies that there was genuine fellowship between the man Enoch and his God. If it was possible for Enoch, then it is equally possible for you and I.

So, what happened to Enoch? Here’s how I see it:

Enoch, as usual was walking with God, deep in fellowship, talking, listening, responding to God’s words. As they walked and talked they became more and more involved in the conversation. As they walked and talked Enoch became closer and closer to God and further and further from this world.

Eventually, after much conversation, after deep fellowship, communion, Enoch looked up from his communication with God and realised just how far he had come. As he saw how far he had walked the Lord said to him: “Enoch, you are closer to my home than to yours, you may as well just come home with Me!”

Not for Kids!

What do you think of when you read the story of David and Goliath? Sunday School? A children’s talk? It’s one of those stories that we seem to think is just right for children, it’s a simple story of a young man’s faith resulting in a great victory. As a result of this we don’t really think too much about it’s relevance to adults.

Actually, this story is NOT FOR KIDS!

Perhaps the story should be called David and Saul, because Goliath only plays a bit part. In fact after we are first introduced to him he is simply called ‘the Philistine’ – he doesn’t even warrant a name.

So, what is really going on in this story, for us grown ups? Well, Saul, the king, the leader in battle, the adult is sitting on his hands waiting. He can see the enemy, he knows where the battle lines are drawn, he has experience and authority and yet he is doing nothing. Think of David’s older brother, Eliab, when David comes to enquire, his brother as good as tells him: “You’re too young to know anything about fighting a war, go home.”

Somewhere in our Christian lives we become jaded, battle worn, loaded with the cares of the world. Somewhere down the line we find that we have more in common with Saul than with David. Yet, although David is young, he is a man, and he proves that in a wonderful way, with God’s help.

You see, the point of this piece of history is to show that as mature men and women in God’s kingdom we need to keep our eyes fixed on God rather than on the enemy, or on this world, which for now is the enemy’s domain. As grown up Christians we need to see that God’s glory is everything and that God will work in us and through us and will do great things for His kingdom if we would just take Him at His word and act.

By this point whatever relationship Saul had with God was gone. He had done his own thing in his own way too often. David had a moment by moment trusting relationship with God that had seen off bears and lions, not to mention older brothers! His action was a natural product of his walk with his God. His walk, his faith and his actions are an example to every grown up man and woman who is a part of God’s kingdom.

The Wisdom of Nicholas Herman

Better known as Brother Lawrence, Nicholas Herman was by his own admission a clumsy oaf who struggled to do anything well. As a result he turned his attention to doing whatever he did in the conscious awareness of being in the presence of God.

The collection of his words and letters is entitled The Practise of the Presence of God and is one of the must have reads for the believer. (The best translation that I have found is that by E. M. Blaiklock and is readily available online).

Here is a brief quotation that I think summarises his attitude to this practise:

“What can God have that gives him greater satisfaction than that a thousand thousand times a day all his creatures should thus pause to withdraw and worship him in the heart.”

This simple, yet profound statement by a humble lay brother of the barefoot Carmelites, who is now closer to God than before, is well worth meditating on and applying to our daily lives. Better still, read the book, it’s simple, honest and will be a real source of blessing.