III. ENOCH—WALKING WITH GOD
The characteristic of Enoch’s life was that he walked with God (Gen. 5:22, 24). We are not told that he worked for God or that he did great things for God, but that he walked with God. This is very meaningful. In order to walk with a person, you must like him. If I do not like you, I will never walk with you. Firstly, I like you, then I love you, and then I will walk with you continually. The fact that Enoch walked with God proves that he loved God. He simply loved to be in the presence of God. The Lord Jesus rebuked the church at Ephesus because they did many works for God but had lost their first love (Rev. 2:2-4). The Lord does not want to see so many good works; He wants to see our love toward God. Suppose a wife performs many good works for her husband, yet would never be in his presence. Surely the husband will say, "I don’t want you to be busy and yet be away from me. I want a wife who is with me all the time."
Enoch walked with God. If we read Genesis 5:21-24 carefully, we will see that Enoch began his walk with God at the age of sixty-five and continued walking with Him for three hundred years. He walked with God day after day for a period of three hundred years. Finally, God seemed to say, "Enoch, you have walked with Me long enough. Let Me take you to Myself." Many Christians are fond of talking about the rapture and the coming of the Lord. Do you realize that rapture requires that you love the Lord and live in His presence? We need to love the Lord. "Lord Jesus, I love You. I want to live in Your presence. I want to walk with You because I love You." This loving attitude is the preparation, condition, and basis of being raptured. On what ground was Enoch raptured? He was raptured on the basis of his walk with God for a period of three hundred years. Enoch offered us an excellent example.
IV. NOAH—WALKING WITH GOD
Noah followed Enoch’s footsteps and also walked with God (Gen. 6:9). Actually, he walked with God for a period even longer than three hundred years. As Noah walked with God, God showed him a vision of what He wanted to do in that age. Noah received the vision of the ark used to save eight members of the fallen race. Like Noah, we should not act according to our concept. Whatever we do and work should be according to the vision we received in walking with the Lord. In our daily walk with the Lord we will come to see His desire, His mind, and His will. Then we will work and serve according to God’s desire, not according to our own thoughts. Noah enjoyed God by walking with Him.
V. ABRAHAM—LIVING IN THE APPEARING OF GOD AND
CALLING UPON THE NAME OF THE LORD
Abraham was more outstanding than Noah. As we pointed out in the Life-study of Romans, Abraham was transfused with the appearing of the God of glory. While Abraham was in Ur of the Chaldees, the God of glory appeared to him and attracted him (Acts 7:2). According to the record in Genesis, God appeared to Abraham several other times as well (Gen. 12:7; 17:1; 18:1). Abraham was not a giant of faith by himself; he was as weak as we are. The God of glory appeared to Abraham again and again, each time transfusing and infusing His divine elements into him, enabling him to live by the faith of God. Abraham’s experience reminds us of a battery which operates well after it is charged, but which needs recharging after a period of time. It is very interesting to study Abraham’s history according to God’s appearings to him. God called Abraham out of Ur of the Chaldees and led him on by appearing to him again and again. As I have mentioned previously, when God called Abraham to leave Ur, He did not give him a map or any directions. Abraham walked according to the appearing of God. If God’s appearing was in a certain direction, Abraham simply moved in that direction. In this way Abraham enjoyed the riches of God.
In addition to experiencing the appearings of God, Abraham called upon the name of the Lord (Gen. 12:7-8). Abraham’s son, Isaac, and his grandson, Jacob, also called upon the name of the Lord. Since these three generations were all the same, God was called the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This means that God is the God of His people who live in His appearing and who call upon His name. As Abraham lived in the appearing of God and called upon the name of the Lord, he enjoyed Him as the tree of life. According to Genesis 18, God appeared to Abraham as he sat at the entrance of his tent, and He stayed with him for about half a day, even enjoying a meal with him. Thus, the Bible even says that Abraham was called the friend of God (James 2:23). In Genesis 18 God and Abraham conversed together and ate together as friends.
Certainly we all would like to have such an enjoyment of the Lord. Nevertheless, our portion today is much better than Abraham’s experience in Genesis 18. According to Revelation 3:20, the Lord Jesus is knocking at the door. If anyone will hear His voice and open the door, the Lord will come into him and sup with him. Day by day we may have a feast with the Lord. Abraham dined with the Lord for approximately half a day, but we may feast with Him continually. We may meet with the Lord at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Our portion is higher and richer than was Abraham’s.
Abraham enjoyed God as the tree of life. What is the tree of life? The tree of life is the supply of life that maintains our living in the presence of God. Abraham enjoyed God in such a way.
(Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 15, by Witness Lee)