by Joseph Franks
This is the epitaph of Creation: first all was dark and void; then there was light.
This is the epitaph of Jesus Christ: in the midst of darkness, light came into the world.
This is the epitaph of Enoch; in the midst of an evil generation; he was a ray of light.
You see, in the early chapters of Genesis, a wicked and dark family tree is birthed. From the sin-stained root of Adam and Eve, godless neighbor-haters spread across the globe. Adam and Eve ally themselves with Lucifer. Cain worships improperly, receives God’s rebuke, and responds by slaughtering his brother. Lamech loudly lauds the vengeance in his heart, and it only goes downhill from there. As the generations come and go, the stench of sin becomes unbearable to the Holy God. So offensive does mankind become that the Sovereign King almost annihilates them all. Paradise appears to be ruined. The Prince of Darkness appears to be having his way.
However, from the stump of the dark, depraved and rotten family tree, a remnant sprout is found. In the midst of darkness, light shines. Oh, this is through no merit of their own. It is only due to the gracious work of the Master Gardener — the Light of the World. But ultimately, Adam and Eve grow to become redeemed saints bearing covenant children for the Creator. Able learns to worship God in an acceptable manner. Seth and his children are noted by their prayer lives, “At that time they began to call upon the Lord.” (4:26) And then there is Enoch:
And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Genesis 5:21-24)
Enoch proves to be affected by the Light. As a descendent of Adam and Eve, he is born with a rank sin nature. Enoch, by nature, is dark and totally deprave. He is not a little saint, but one odious to the Holy God. However, though we are not told much of his story, he proves to be an undeserving sinner targeted for grace. Using the rest of Scripture as our guide, we know Enoch is made aware of his sin. He is also made aware of the substitutionary Sacrifice to come. At some point, Enoch is regenerated by God’s Spirit; he expresses saving faith and a passion to repent. Consequently, Enoch is proclaimed righteous and holy by the Just Judge of all men. Enoch is not sinless, but he is a saint. Into the darkness, light has shined.
Enoch proves to be light in the midst of darkness. He is described as a worshiping fellow by the inspired Moses. Perhaps this means he prays. Perhaps it describes his hunger to follow God’s leading. It could also describe his practice of worshiping in accordance with the stated desire of his Lord. However, Enoch does not just know the Father. He does not merely have a saving interaction with Him. No, Enoch walks and communes with his Savior and Friend. Then he shines his light by making sure to pass along his faith to his family. Again, this is not described or explicitly stated, but it is proven by his product. Like his own parents, he is driven to pass God’s Law and Gospel on to his own children and grandchildren. He will not be satisfied entering the final paradise without knowing Methuselah, Noah, and his great grandchildren will soon be following in his footsteps. If this patriarch has anything to do with it, the godly remnant will not stop on his watch — and it does not.
Enoch then experiences the glorious light of God’s presence. “Enoch walked with God; and he was not; for God took him.” (5:24) Something special is certainly implied by these inspired words. All men live before God. All men have their days numbered by God. All men have their lives terminated by God. And all men have a meeting before his bar of justice. However, something special is described in God’s relation with Enoch. Either God takes him early, God takes him miraculously, God takes him particularly, or all of the above. However, God has become dear to Enoch, and Enoch proves to be incredibly special to God.
Friends, this can be our testimony and epitaph as well: in the midst of this dark world, we too can be light. We can be Enochs in the midst of our evil generation.
Isn’t this what you desire?
Isn’t this what your Heavenly Father desires?
Isn’t this what Jesus does?
Friends, let us all respond properly to the Light to by accepting his Gospel. It is free for us. It is right before us. Can we see it? Do we want it? Let us call upon Jesus and be saved from one-hundred percent of our sins. Let us come to the Light and be forever transformed.
Then, let us respond properly to the Light by walking in the Light. Today, let us commune with him, without ceasing, in prayer. Let us be illumined by his Word and walk in obedience with him. Let us walk hand-in-hand with our God and experience his undeserved blessing.
In addition, let us respond properly to the Light by endeavoring to pass on the faith to our children and our children’s children. Will we let the Prince of Darkness have his way with them? Ought we not be lights pointing our children to the Light? Is this a priority for us? How blessed is the man who finds his children walking with him in the ways of the Lord. Let us make sure we are faithful in regards to our first church responsibility.
Then, let us look forward with hope. Let us respond rightly to the Light by longing for the day when we will walk with the Lord in the paradisiacal garden he is preparing for us. A glorious locale is over the horizon. One day we will see him in his splendor. Friends, pant for the vacation to come.
What an epitaph, and this can be ours. Friends, why don’t you take a moment, print out the form below, and fill in your name and the appropriate details. Our legacy is being made at the present time. Oh that this would be said of us:
And (_________) lived (__________) years, and begat (__________, __________, __________): And (__________) walked with God after he begat sons and daughters: And all the days of (__________) were (__________) years: And (__________) walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.