Genesis 5:18-32: Spiritual exercise
“18 When Jared had lived 162 years, he became the father of Enoch. 19 After he became the father of Enoch, Jared lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. 20 Altogether, Jared lived a total of 962 years, and then he died. 21 When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah. 22 After he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. 23 Altogether, Enoch lived a total of 365 years. 24 Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away. 25 When Methuselah had lived 187 years, he became the father of Lamech. 26 After he became the father of Lamech, Methuselah lived 782 years and had other sons and daughters. 27 Altogether, Methuselah lived a total of 969 years, and then he died. 28 When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. 29 He named him Noah[a] and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labour and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.’ 30 After Noah was born, Lamech lived 595 years and had other sons and daughters. 31 Altogether, Lamech lived a total of 777 years, and then he died. 32 After Noah was 500 years old, he became the father of Shem, Ham and Japheth.” NIV
The cycle of birth and death is broken by a short story of one man who lived, but did not die: ‘’Enoch walked with God!’’ One preacher said that there came a day when he walked so far that God said to him, ‘It’s too far to go back now! Come on home!!’ There’s poetic license there, but it’s a lovely thought.
‘’And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God…’’ (22). Becoming a parent is life-changing. For some people the experience is more intense and profound than for others. Was there something about holding his baby son in his hands which caused Enoch to begin walking with God? We don’t know for sure, but it’s an interesting thought.
What we do know, however, is that Enoch ‘’walked with God’’. Ultimately, to walk with God by faith is the way to overcome death (Hebrews 11;5). ‘Thus, in the seventh generation after Adam, Enoch became an example of hope for mankind…’ Tom Hale: ‘Applied Old Testament Commentary’,p.141.
In Genesis 5, ten names are mentioned, starting with Adam and ending with Noah. Although each person listed had numerous offspring, only these ten were in the direct line leading through Noah to Abraham and David, and eventually to Christ. These ten names are repeated in Luke’s genealogy of Christ (Luke 3:36-38).
‘In contrast to Cain’s line in the previous chapter, we have Seth’s in this. Note the curious similarity in the names in the two lines, as though the Cainites professed all that the Sethites held, but lacked the reality and power. There have always been these two families in the world – tares and wheat, goats and sheep. This is an old-world cemetery; we walk among old monuments with time-worn inscriptions. Though the Sethites were God-fearers, they were tinged with Adam’s sin. He was made in God’s image, but they in his as well…The birth of Methuselah seems to have had a profound influence on his father. After that he walked with God. Faith will enable us to do the same, because it makes the unseen visible and God real. Go God’s way. Keep God’s pace. Talk to him aloud and constantly as the great Companion.’ F.B. Meyer: ‘Devotional Commentary’, pp.16, 17.
PRAYER: Lord, I want to keep in step with your Spirit. Please help me to not run ahead or lag behind. What a privilege to have your Friendship and company.